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. 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 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, where he is the recipient of a 2021 Sachs Program Grant for Arts Innovation for his novel-in-progress, The Serpent Will Eat Whatever is in the Belly of the Beast, for which he has also received a 2021 Creative Capital Award. In 2022, he will be a writer-in-residence at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.