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Photo: Jeffrey Allen

Joseph Skibell

Professor of Creative Writing/English

Director, The Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature

N404G Callaway Center
Creative Writing Program
Emory University
537 Kilgo Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322 

404-727-0840 (Office)
404-727-4672 (Fax)
joseph.skibell@emory.edu (Email)

On leave 2014-2015

Joseph Skibell's debut novel, A Blessing on the Moon, received the prestigious Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Turner Prize for First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. A Book of the Month Club selection, the book was named one of the year's best by Publishers Weekly, Le Monde and Amazon.com, and has been translated into half a dozen languages. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Patrick Giles, said of A Blessing on the Moon: "Daring in its haunting, often painful honesty, dense in thoughtful observation and unsparing incident, the novel is confirmation that no subject lies beyond the grasp of a gifted, committed imagination."

Skibell's second novel, The English Disease, received the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. According to the Jerusalem Report: "Skibell's latest is a witty and profound, moving and comic portrait of a crabby, middle-aged musicologist with a typically Jewish, post-Holocaust worldview. As he did in his first work, Skibell makes the potentially stale fresh, thanks to incisive, original images that redeem and shed new glimpses on what may, at first, appear to be old themes. Skibell succeeds, all the while giving us a complex work that, in testament to his gifts as a storyteller, is always a joy to read."

Skibell's third novel, A Curable Romantic, received the coveted Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature Choice Award.

The New Republic called the book "a high-energy, wild performance"; and The Forward said, "This magnificent novel ... is surprisingly laugh-outloud humorous." Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee called it, "Wholly original ... intellectual comedy of the highest order," while the New York Journal of Books said, "This is a brave novel, unafraid to undertake big themes and ideas ... hugely accomplished."

Skibell's work has been widely anthologized and translated into many languages, most recently Ido and Chinese. His short stories and essays have appeared in Story, Tikkun, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, among many other periodicals. He is the author of a one-man play entitled 10 Faces, and he collaborated on the libretto for an opera based on A Blessing on the Moon with the composer Andy Teirstein, which will have its premiere at the 2011 Chutzpah! Arts Festival in Vancouver.

A recipient of a Halls Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Skibell has taught at the University of Wisconsin, the Humber School for Writers, the Taos Summer Writers Conference, and Bar-Ilan University. During the fall 2011 semester, he is a visiting professor at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

He presented the inaugural lecture in the Wexler Family Series in Jewish Literature at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.

He joined the English Department/Creative Writing Program at Emory University in 1999, and is the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.

"I Noticed A Strange Thing," a Powerpoint presentation by Joseph Skibell.

A Blessing on the Moon

The English Disease

Mr. Universe

A Curable Romantic

A Blessing on the Moon (2010 edition)

Read an interview about the premiere of Joseph Skibell's play Our Own Dear Anton's Abandoned Story Cycle


Read Joseph Skibell's essay, "Our Love Affair with Books"

Read an interview with Joseph Skibell in Emory Magazine

Read about the West Coast Premiere of Joseph Skibell's play Our Own Dear Anton's Abandoned Story Cycle Presented by Ivan and Burkin (100 Years After They Left Their Village)

Joseph Skibell's articles for The New York Times "Sophisticated Traveler" magazine


ONE STREET AT A TIME: Atlanta's Peachtree Street

ONE STREET AT A TIME Berggasse, Vienna



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