Phillip Lopate

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Phillip Lopate
Phillip Lopate.jpeg
Born (1943-11-16) November 16, 1943 (age 79)
Brooklyn, New York, US
  • Film critic
  • essayist
  • fiction writer
  • poet
  • teacher
EducationColumbia University (BA)
Union Institute & University (PhD)
Genrefictional prose, essay, poetry, literary criticism
Notable worksGetting Personal (2003)
Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan (2005)
The Glorious American Essay (2020)
RelativesLeonard Lopate (brother)

Phillip Lopate (born 1943) is an American film critic, essayist, fiction writer, poet, and teacher. He is the younger brother of radio host Leonard Lopate.

Early life[edit]

Phillip Lopate was born in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated with a BA degree from Columbia University in 1964 and received his doctorate from Union Institute & University in 1979.[1] Lopate is the younger brother of Leonard Lopate.[2]



Lopate worked as a writer-in-the-schools for twelve years and his memoir Being With Children came out of his association with the artists-in-the-school organization Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Lopate coordinated T&W's first project (at Manhattan's P.S. 75), the model for which led to similar programs in all 50 states.[3]

He has taught creative writing and literature to undergraduate and graduate students at several institutions, including Bennington College, Fordham University, Cooper Union, the University of Houston, New York University (NYU), Columbia University School of the Arts, and The New School. He is currently professor of Writing at Columbia University. He held the Adams Chair at Hofstra University until 2011, where he was professor of English.[4]

Creative writing[edit]

Lopate's essays, fiction, and poetry have appeared in several Pushcart Prize annuals, the anthologies Congregation and Testimony, and The Paris Review, Harper's Magazine, Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, Harvard Educational Review, The New York Times Book Review, Boulevard, The Journal of Contemporary Fiction, Double Take, and Creative Nonfiction, among others.[1]


Lopate has written for the New York Times Sophisticated Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler, European Travel and Life, Sidestreets of the World, and American Way.[1]


Lopate has written about architecture and urbanism for Metropolis, The New York Times, Double Take, Preservation, Cite, and 7 Days, where he wrote a bimonthly architectural column. He has served as a committee member for the Municipal Art Society and as a consultant for Ric Burns' PBS documentary on the history of New York City.[1]

Media critic[edit]

He has written about movies for The New York Times, Vogue, Esquire, Film Comment, Film Quarterly, Cinemabook, Threepenny Review, Tikkun, American Film, The Normal School, and the anthology The Movie That Changed My Life, among others. A volume of his selected movie criticism, Totally Tenderly Tragically, was published by Doubleday-Anchor in 1998. He edited a massive anthology of American film criticism from the silent era to present day, entitled American Movie Critics: From Silents Until Now, was published in March 2006 for Library of America.[1]

Awards and fellowships[edit]

Lopate has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants. He also received a Christopher Medal for Being With Children, the Texas Institute of Letters award for best non-fiction book of the year (for Bachelorhood), and was a finalist for the Spielvogel-Diamonstein PEN Award for best essay book of the year (for Portrait of My Body). His anthology Writing New York received an honorable mention from the Municipal Art Society's Brendan Gill Award, and a citation from the New York Society Library. He was also a Lila Wallace Foundation writer-in-residence. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[1][better source needed]


Essay collections:

  • Bachelorhood (Little, Brown, 1981)
  • Against Joie de Vivre (Simon & Schuster, 1989)
  • Portrait of My Body (Doubleday-Anchor, 1996)
  • Totally Tenderly Tragically (Anchor, 1998)
  • Getting Personal (Basic Books, 2003)[5][6] 2008 edition. ISBN 9780786729784.
  • Notes on Sontag (Princeton University Press, 2009)
  • Portrait Inside My Head (Free Press, 2013)[7]
  • To Show and to Tell (Free Press, 2013)[8]


  • Confessions of Summer (Doubleday, 1979)
  • The Rug Merchant (Viking, 1987)
  • Two Marriages (Other Press, 2008)[9]

Poetry collections:

  • The Eyes Don't Always Want to Stay Open (Sun Press, 1972)
  • The Daily Round (Sun Press, 1976)
  • At the End of the Day (Marsh Hawk Press, 2010)


  • Being With Children (Doubleday, 1975)

Anthologies (as contributor):

  • The Best American Short Stories (1974)
  • The Best American Essays (1987)

Anthologies (as editor):

  • The Art of the Personal Essay (Doubleday-Anchor, 1994)
  • Writing New York (The Library of America, 1998)
  • Journal of a Living Experiment (Teachers & Writers Press, 1979)
  • The Anchor Essay Annual (Anchor, 1997-9)
  • The Phillip Lopate Reader (Basic Books, 2003)
  • American Movie Critics (Library of America, 2006)
  • The Prince of Minor Writers (New York Review Books, 2015)[10]
  • The Glorious American Essay: One Hundred Essays from Colonial Times to the Present (Pantheon, 2020)[11][12]
  • The Golden Age of the American Essay (Anchor, 2021)[13]
  • The Contemporary American Essay (Anchor, 2021)[14]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Phillip Lopate" Archived January 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Hofstra University. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Lopate, Phillip. "My Brother, My Life (with apologies to Pasternak)". Smith Magazine. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  3. ^ Hechinger, Fred M. "About Education: An Experiment in 'Activism,'" The New York Times (December 4, 1979).
  4. ^ "Accomplishments," Hofstra Pride. Accessed February 8, 2011.
  5. ^ "Review of Getting Personal by Phillip Lopate". Publishers Weekly. September 29, 2003.
  6. ^ "GETTING PERSONAL". Kirkus Reviews. October 1, 2003. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  7. ^ "PORTRAIT INSIDE MY HEAD". Kirkus Reviews. December 1, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  8. ^ "TO SHOW AND TO TELL". Kirkus Reviews. November 15, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  9. ^ "TWO MARRIAGES". Kirkus Reviews. July 1, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  10. ^ "THE PRINCE OF MINOR WRITERS". Kirkus Reviews. March 15, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  11. ^ Williams, John (November 25, 2020). "'The Glorious American Essay,' From Benjamin Franklin to David Foster Wallace". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  12. ^ "THE GLORIOUS AMERICAN ESSAY". Kirkus Reviews. September 15, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  13. ^ "THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE AMERICAN ESSAY". Kirkus Reviews. February 15, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  14. ^ "THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN ESSAY". Kirkus Reviews. June 15, 2021. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  15. ^ "Review of Waterfront by Phillip Lopate". Publishers Weekly. February 9, 2004.
  16. ^ "Review of Waterfront by Phillip Lopate". Kirkus Reviews. December 15, 2013.
  17. ^ Hollars, B.J. "Book Review: A Mother's Tale by Phillip Lopate". The Los Angeles Review. Retrieved July 21, 2022.

External links[edit]