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Faculty

Emily Rapp Black

Assistant Professor
Office: INTN 3005
E-mail: emily.rappblack@ucr.edu

Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA) and The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin Press), which was a New York Times Bestseller and a finalist for the PEN Center Literary Award in Nonfiction. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction and Poetry. While at Harvard, she worked for the GLBT Speaker's Foundation, an organization that professionally trained speakers to tell their coming out stories in high schools, churches, and other public forums in an effort to increase awareness and understanding between the GLBT and straight communities. She is also an active advocate for parents of terminally ill children through the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, where she helps facilitate conversations between doctors and parents/caregivers about alternative approaches to pediatric palliative care.

Black has received awards and recognition for her work from The Atlantic Monthly; StoryQuarterly; the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation; the Rona Jaffe Foundation (Emerging Writer Award); the Jentel Arts Foundation; the Corporation of Yaddo; the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she was a Winter Writing Fellow; Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain; and Bucknell University, where she was the Philip Roth Fiction Writer-in-Residence. Her blog, a live medical narrative, http://ourlittleseal.wordpress.com, was named by TIME as one of the top 25 blogs of 2012, and that same year The Huffington Post recommended her work as “Required Reading for Women.” Her essays have appeared in VOGUE, LENNY LETTER, the New York Times, Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, The Sun, TIME, Brain.Child, The Rumpus, Role/Reboot, O the Oprah Magazine, Redbook, The Nervous Breakdown, Bodega, Fitness, Good Housekeeping, The Los Angeles Times, and other publications and anthologies, including The Modern Loss Anthology and O's Little Guide to Starting Over.  Since 2012, she has been a literary correspondent for the Boston Globe, and also writes home and design, fashion, and fitness and lifestyle features for various publications. Her essays about medical ethics, genetics, disability issues, 19th century philosophy (with an emphasis on Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling), and the ethics of end-of-life care have appeared in many academic journals and anthologies.

Black has taught creative writing and English literature at Antioch University-Los Angeles and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (formerly College of Santa Fe), and in the UC-Riverside Palm Desert MFA in Creative Writing and the Performing Arts program, and at many summer conferences and workshops around the world. From 2014-2015 she was the Joseph Russo Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico.

Black's next book Casa Azul Cripple, forthcoming from NottingHill Editions/New York Review of Books, is a book-length lyric essay about art, sex, suffering, and the fetishization of disability and pain as seen through the lens of the work and life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and the philosophy of Julia Kristeva. She is currently at work on a book that reexamines the concept of resilience. She and her husband, writer and editor Kent Black and their family, divide their time between two deserts: Palm Springs, California, and a 100-year-old church outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.