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 Black assassins 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. The speculative novel 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 Black assassins seek retaliation. When Monday receives his assignment to kill the only white girl in his inner-city chess program, whom he taught as a child, he realizes he is platonically in love with her, and decides to save her.


Award Year
2021
Status

In Progress

An African-American man with a long goatee, wearing a red shirt, facing the sun, with grass and a building in the background.

Marc Anthony Richardson

Philadelphia, PA

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. Year of the Rat, his debut novel, won the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and an American Book Award. Richardson was also the recipient of a PEN America grant, a Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright fellowship, and a Vermont Studio Center residency. Messiahs, his second novel, is due for release in Fall 2021 by Fiction Collective Two/University of Alabama Press. The book takes place in a dystopian America, where one can assume a relative’s capital sentence as an act of holy reform—the proxy initiative, patterned after the Passion. Richardson’s 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, and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is the recipient of a 2021 Sachs Program Grant for Arts Innovation. He will be a writer-in-residence at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.