Marc Anthony Richardson
Marc Anthony Richardson is an artist and novelist from Philadelphia, who specializes in visceral, poetic prose that circles on itself, using language that is, at times, lurid and phantasmagoric. Year of the Rat, his debut novel, won an American Book Award and a Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize. Messiahs, his second novel, was nominated as a fiction finalist for the 2021 Big Other Book Award. It takes place in a dystopian America, where one can assume a relative’s capital sentence as an act of holy reform. Richardson was also the recipient of a PEN America grant, a Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright fellowship, and a Vermont Studio Center residency. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, Callaloo, Black Warrior Review, Western Humanities Review, and the anthology, Who Will Speak for America?, from Temple University Press. He received his MFA from Mills College, taught at Rutgers University, and currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2021, he was a recipient of a Creative Capital Award and a Sachs Program Grant for Arts Innovation for his novel-in-progress, The Serpent Will Eat Whatever is in the Belly of the Beast. In 2022, he was an Andrew W. Mellon Scholar-in-Residence at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, and will be a 2023 Artist-in-Residence at Art Omi in Ghent, NY.
The Serpent Will Eat Whatever is in the Belly of the Beast
Marc Anthony Richardson is an artist and novelist from Philadelphia, who specializes in dense, visceral prose that circles on itself and leaps from present to past, using language that is, at times, phantasmagoric.Artist Bio
In The Serpent Will Eat Whatever is in the Belly of the Beast, seven vigilantes are assigned to reciprocate violence inflicted on the black community by taking the life of a white person, according to the day of the week that it happened. This novelistic poem takes place during a day of rioting after the white rapists and murderers of a black girl are released from jail without charges, and the seven vigilantes seek retaliation. When one of the seven receives an assignment to kill a white girl whom he taught as a child, he decides to spare her, jeopardizing both their lives.