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Leila Philip

Leila Philip American writer

American writer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American writer
Countries United States of America
Occupations Writer
Type Literature
Gender female
The details

Leila Philip (born April 18, 1961, New York City) is an American writer, poet and educator. She is the author of three books of memoir and narrative non-fiction (A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family, Hidden Dialogue: A Discussion Between Women in Japan and the United States, The Road Through Miyama) and one collection of poetry (Water Rising). Philip has been anthologized in a number of books, including: Brief Encounters, Teaching Creative Non-Fiction, Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers; Family Travels: The Farther You Go the Closer You Get; Japan: True Stories of Life on the Road, A Woman’s Passion for Travel. She has contributed articles and reviews to newspapers, magazines, research and journals including Ploughshares, The Christian Science Monitor, Studio Potter Magazine, The Yomiuri Shimbun and the Daily Yomiuri. Philip has written about art for Artcritical, Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas and Art in America. She is the Contributing Editor of Riverteeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative


Leila grew up in New York City and graduated from Princeton University in 1986, with a A.B. in Comparative Literature and a Fifth-Year Degree in East Asian Studies From 1983 to 1985, Philip apprenticed to Nagayoshi Kazu, a master potter in southern Kyushu, then went on to earn an MFA at Columbia University as the Woolrich Fellow in Fiction.

Philip has taught writing and literature at Princeton University, Columbia University, Emerson College, Colgate University, Vassar College, and at the Ohio University as the James Thurber Writer in Residence. In 2004 she joined College of the Holy Cross' English department where she teaches creative writing and literature in the Creative Writing Program.

Philip has taught at writing conferences and low residency MFA Programs including Stonecoast, The Chenango Valley Writers Conference, and Fairfield University. Since 2010, she has taught at the MFA Program at Ashland University


  • 2015: Brief Encounters, edited by Judith Kitchen, (W. W. Norton & Company)
  • 2010: Why We're Here, edited by Bob Cowser, (Colgate University Press)
  • 2008: Creating Nonfiction, edited by Becky Bradway, (St. Martin's Press)
  • 1993: Maiden Voyages, edited by Mary Morris, (Vintage Books)

Awards and Honors

  • 2014: Pushcart Prize in Literature, Nomination for Water Rising
  • 2014: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend
  • 2007: Guggenheim Fellowship, Literary Nonfiction
  • 2002: Publication Award, the Victorian Society of America
  • 2000: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in American Studies
  • 1999: American Association of University Women, American Fellowship
  • 1999: Furthermore, J.M. Kaplan Fund
  • 1994: National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature
  • 1991: James Thurber Writer-in-Residence, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 1990: PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation for Nonfiction.

Published Interviews

  • 2012: The Future of Longform: exploring the Space between Writers and Readers in the new Media Galaxy, “Picturing the Essay” interviewed by Pepi Ronalds, Melbourne, Australia

Future of Long Form

  • 2011: Writers on the Fly: Unesco Project: Cities of Literature, Iowa City. Interviewed by Ben Hill.

On the Fly: Leila Philip

  • 2010: River of Words: Portraits of Hudson Valley Writers, edited by Nina Shengold (interview format), SUNY press

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