Leila Philip is the author of four books, including The Road Through Miyama (Random House), which received the 1990 / PEN Martha Albrand Special Citation for Nonfiction; and A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family (Viking), which received awards for history and documentation of American life. Philip has received numerous awards for her writing, including from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities. Fluent in Japanese, Philip studied ceramics in Japan and writes often on Japan as well as about art for Art Critical. In addition to publishing essays and poems, Philip is a contributing columnist at The Boston Globe.
Leila’s most recent book is Water Rising (poetry and watercolors, New Rivers Press, 2015) with Garth Evans, an art collaboration which has led to musical performances and the creation of a video installation, “Environment, Memory & Things” which has been shown internationally. Her first theatrical script Cardiff, was staged at the historic Duplex Theater in NYC in 2017, then expanded into a larger production. In 2019, The Cardiff Tapes was staged in Cardiff by one of the oldest theater companies in Wales, Everyman Theater. Water Rising has an environmental mission; 100% of proceeds from sales of the book are being donated to support environmental stewardship.
Leila teaches at the College of the Holy Cross where she is a Professor of literature and Creative Writing in the English Department and an active member of the Environmental Studies Program.
She is currently at work on a book about beavers that is an immersive ecological and historical investigation of the beaver which traces the critical ways it has shaped everything from American imperialism and wealth to the current debates surrounding the environmental crisis, the rural-urban divide, and some of our most elemental ideas of what it means to be American.
Leila Philip received a starred Publishers Weekly review for Beaverland.
"A triumph of popular nature writing" - PW, starred review