Faculty and Staff

Aminatta Forna, Director

Aminatta Forna headshot

Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Great Britain and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the award-winning author of the novels HappinessThe Hired ManThe Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and a memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water, and most recently the essay collection, The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion. Forna is the recipient of a Windham Campbell Award from Yale University, has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award 2011, a Hurston Wright Legacy Award the Liberaturpreis in Germany and the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, and was made OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2017. She is currently Director of the Lannan Center at Georgetown University. 

Carolyn Forché, Director of Readings and Talks

Carolyn Forché headshot

Carolyn Forché is the former Director of the Lannan Center and a University Professor in the Department of English at Georgetown University. She is most recently the author of the poetry collection In the Lateness of the World: Poems (Penguin, 2020) and the memoir What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Random House, 2019). She is also the author of four books of poetry: Gathering The Tribes, which received the Yale Younger Poets Award, The Country Between Us, chosen as the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets, The Angel of History, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Blue Hour, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Forché is also the editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (W. W. Norton, 1993) and the coeditor of Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500-2001 (W. W. Norton, 2014). She has been a human rights activist for thirty years.

Rabih Alameddine, Lannan Foundation Visiting Chair 

Rabih Alameddine headshot

Rabih Alameddine is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, most recently The Wrong End of the Telescope (Grove Press, 2021), winner of the Pen/Faulkner Prize in 2022. He is also the author of The Angel of History (Grove Press, 2016), winner of the Lambda Literary Award 2017; An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press, 2014), a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Hakawati (Knopf, 2008); I, The Divine (W.W. Norton, 2001); Koolaids (Picador, 1999); and a collection of short stories, The Perv (Picador, 1999). His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, the Harold Washington Literary Award in 2018, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature in 2019, the 2021 Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and recently, a finalist for the 2023 Joyce Carol Oates Prize. He was previously the Lannan Medical Humanities Scholar-In-Residence at Georgetown University and the Kapnick Foundation Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at University of Virginia. Alameddine will begin his three-year appointment as the Lannan Foundation Visiting Chair in fall 2023.

Tope Folarin, Lannan Creative Writing Visiting Lecturer

Tope Folarin Headshot

Tope Folarin is a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington DC. He serves as the Lannan Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing (new window) and the Director of the Institute for Policy Studies (new window). He is the recipient of the Caine Prize for African Writing (new window), the Whiting Award for Fiction (new window), and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (new window), among other awards. His reviews, essays and cultural criticism have been featured in The Atlantic (new window)The Baffler (new window), BBC, The Drift (new window)High Country New (new window)s, Lithub (new window)Los Angeles Review of Books (new window)The Nation (new window)The New Republic (new window)The New York Times Book Review (new window)Vulture (new window)The Washington Post (new window) and elsewhere (new window). He was educated at Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Masters degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. His debut novel, A Particular Kind of Black Man, was published by Simon & Schuster.

Patricia Guzman, Program Manager

Patricia Guzman is the Program Manager at the Lannan Center. Born and raised in California, she attended UCLA where she received a BA in English Creative Writing. She then attended The New School in New York City where she earned an MFA in Poetry. Before coming to Lannan Center, Patricia worked at the Academy of American Poets. Her poems have appeared in The Adirondack ReviewThe Best American Poetry BlogWhite Stag, and elsewhere.