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Robert Antoni

Partial list of publications: As Flies to Whatless Boys, Carnival, My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales, Blessed Is the Fruit, and Divina Trace
Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, and cross-genre writing
Awards: Recipient of many awards and prizes, including the Guggenheim fellowship in 2010
Languages: English, Spanish
Current residences: United States, Spain


PhD in English Literature, The University of Iowa
MFA in Creative Writing, The University of Iowa
MA in Creative Writing, Johns Hopkins University
BA in English Literature, Duke University



Robert Antoni was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1958, and he carries two passports: from the US, and Trinidad and Tobago. Antoni’s fictional world is the island of Corpus Christi, and to create it he draws upon his two hundred years of family history in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as his upbringing in the Bahamas. His first novel, Divina Trace, was published in 1991, and his most recent novel, Carnival, was published in 2005. The latter work has appeared in French, Spanish, Finnish, and Chinese translations. Antoni was named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2010 for his upcoming historical novel, As Flies to Whatless Boys. Antoni has taught a wide range of courses in creative writing and literature at such esteemed institutions as The New School University of New York, Columbia University, The University of Miami, The University of Iowa, and Johns Hopkins University. He currently lives in Manhattan, and he frequently visits Barcelona, where he has kept an alternate address for the past 20 years.

Teaching Experience

  • 2006-2010, The New School University, New York, NY, Assistant Professor of creative writing and literature.
  • 2004-2005, Columbia University, New York, NY, Assistant Professor of creative writing and literature.
  • 1992-2001, The University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, Associate Professor of creative writing and literature. Helped to establish the MFA program and taught graduate fiction workshops for 9 years, as well as undergraduate fiction writing and literature. Associate Director of the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute.
  • 1985-1990, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, Assistant Professor of creative writing and literature.
  • 1991-1992, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Assistant Professor of creative writing.

 Awards & Honors

  • Named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2010 for his historical novel, As Flies to Whatless Boys
  • Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2006
  • The Paris Review’s Aga Kahn Prize for Fiction, 1999
  • Commonwealth Writers Prize, Overall First Book Winner (Divina Trace), 1992
  • Commonwealth Writers Prize, Canada and Caribbean First Book Winner, 1992
  • Max Orowitz Grant, University of Miami, 1992
  • National Endowment for the Arts Grant, 1984
  • James Michener Fellowship, 1984


Fluent in English and Spanish



  • As Flies to Whatless Boys, forthcoming.
  • Carnival, published by Grove/Atlantic in New York (2005), and by Faber & Faber in London (2006). It has been translated into French (Denoel, 2006), Finnish (LIKE, 2006), Spanish (Anagrama, 2006), and Chinese (Shanghai Sanhui Culture and Press, Ltd., 2007).
  • My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales, published in London by Faber & Faber (2000), and by Grove/Atlantic in New York (2001). It has been translated into French (Editions Du Rocher, 2001), Finnish (LIKE, 2001), and Spanish (Anagrama, 2002).
  • Blessed is the Fruit, published in New York by Henry Holt (1997), and in London by Faber & Faber (1998).
  • Divina Trace, published in New York by the Overlook Press (1992), and London by Quartet Books (1991).

Short Fiction

  • “Dimanche Gras,” The Caribbean Writer as Warrior of the Imaginary, Anthology, eds. Kathleen Gyssels and Benedict Ledent, Cross/Cultures 101 Readings in Post/Colonial Literatures in English, Editions Rodopi B.V., (Amsterdam, New York), 2009, pp. 19-23.
  • “How to Make Photocopies in the Trinidad & Tobago National Archives,” Trinidad Noir, Anthology, eds. Lisa Allen-Agostini & Jeanne Mason, Akashic Books (New York), 2008, pp. 193-214.
  • “The Historic Voyage of the Rosalind,” Conjunctions: 50Fifty Contemporary Writers, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York), April 2008, pp. 377-402.
  • “Trial of the Satellite or How My Great-great-great-grandfather Almost Lost His Virginity on His Fifteenth Birthday,” Conjunctions: 47, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Issue, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York), December 2006, pp. 85-106.
  • “At the End of the Road,” Conjunctions: 44, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York), March 2005, pp. 302-310.
  • “My Grandmother’s Tale of How Crab-o Lost his Head,” in The Beacon Best of 2000, ed. Edwidge Danticat, Beacon Press (Boston), 2000, pp. 95-122.
  • “My Grandmother’s Story of the Buried Treasure and How She Defeated the King of Chacachacari and the Entire American Army with Her Venus-Flytraps,” in Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction, ed. Nalo Hopkinson, Invisible Cities Press (Montpelier, Vermont), 2000, pp. 211-241.
  • “My Grandmother’s Tale of How Iguana Got Her Wrinkles,” Conjunctions:34, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York), spring 2000.
  • “My Grandmother’s Tale of How Crab-o Lost His Head,” Paris Review, 152 (New York), Fall 1999, pp. 225-254. Winner of the 1999 Aga Kahn Prize for fiction.
  • “A World of Canes,” The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, edited by Stewart Brown and John Wickham, Oxford University Press, Oxford U.K., 1999, pp. 403-415.
  • “Granny Myna Tells of the Child,” in Having a Wonderful Time, anthology: a South Florida Reader, ed. John Dufresne, Simon and Shuster, 1997, pp. 20-25.
  • “Devils in the House,” The Literary Insomniac, ed. Elyse Cheney and Wendy Hubbert, Doubleday (New York), December, 1996, pp. 205-214.
  • “A World of Canes,” Conjunctions: 27, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York) November, 1996, pp.334-347.
  • “Granny Myna tells of the Child,” an extract from Divina Trace; Cowboys, Indians and Commuters: The Penguin Book of New American Voices, ed. Jay McInerney, Viking: London, England, 1994, pp.62 85.
  • Rolling Beads (a novella), Conjunctions: 22, May, 1994, pp.91 133.
  • “A Nice White Little Box,” Conjunctions: 20, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York) April, 1993, pp. 150 171.
  • “In the Canes,” Parnassus Review Vol. 17, No. 1, a special issue on minority and ethnic writing, 1992, pp. 108-121.
  • “My Grandmother’s Story of the Buried Treasure and How she Defeated the King of Chachacari and the Entire American Army with her Venus Flytraps,” Conjunctions: 18,Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York) September, 1992, pp. 281-300.
  • “Papee Vince Tells of Magdalene and Barto,” Conjunctions Tenth Anniversary Issue, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, (New York) January 1992, pp. 245 165.
  • Extracts from Divina Trace, Ploughshares, Vol.16, No.4, Winter 90-91, pp. 16 27.
  • “A Piece of Pommerac,” The Paris Review, Summer 1989, No. 111, pp.168 83.
  • “Frogchild on the Day of Corpus Christi,” Hot Type (New York: Collier Books, 1988) pp.175 97.
  • “Dust unto Dust,” StoryQuarterly, 1987, No.23, pp. l 22.
  • “Two Head Fred and Tree Foot Frieda,” The Editors’ choice: Best Short Fiction for 1985 Vol. II (New York: Bantam Books, 1986) pp. l 19.
  • “My Grandmother’s Story,” Telescope, Vol. IV, No. 1 (Baltimore: Galileo Press, 1985) pp. 29-49.
  • “Two Head Fred and Tree Foot Frieda,” The Missouri Review, Vol.VIII, No. 1, (University of Missouri-Columbia, 1984) pp.86-117.

Academic Papers

  • “Wondering Rochford: Reassessing One of Ulysses’ Minor Characters,” read at the XIV International James Joyce Symposium, Seville, Spain, June 13, 1994.
  • “Parody or Piracy: The Relationship of The House of the Spirits to One Hundred Years of Solitude,” Latin America Literary Review, University of Pittsburgh, July December 1988, Vol. XVI, No.32, pp.16-28.
  • “Miss Ravenel’s Conversion: A Neglected American Novel, ” The Southern Quarterly,University of Southern Mississippi, Spring 1986, Vol.XXIV, No.3, pp.58 63.
  • “Gadshill’s Question in I Henry IV,” Cahiers Elisabethains, l’Universite Paul Valery, Montpelier, France, April 1983, No.23, pp.99-104.

Editing Responsibilities

I am presently a Senior Editor at Conjunctions, and a Contributing Editor at the Paris Review andBOMB magazine.

Journal Edited

The Archipelago: New Writing from and about the Caribbean, coedited by Robert Antoni and Bradford Morrow, Conjunctions: 27, published by Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504, November, 1996, 352 pages.


  • BOMB magazine, by Trinidadian novelist Laurence Scott, Number 91, Spring 2005, pp.54-60.
  • Ocean Drive magazine, by Alix Sharkey, July/August 2005, pp.222-224.
  • Radio Interview: Leonard Lopate Show, New York, February 18, 2005.
  • Television Interview: BBC Worldwide Television, London, November 6, 1998.
  • Radio Interview: Up All Night, BBC Radio 5, London, November 5, 1998.
  • Radio Interview: Meridian, World Service, London, November 5, 1998.
  • Radio Presentation: “A Caribbean of the Imagination,” an essay recorded for Today, London, November 5, 1998.