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Agnes Borinsky


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EnglishWritingHistoryArt HistoryReligious StudiesPhilosophy

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Agnes is a playwright, essayist, and novelist, with an infectious interest in how language, ideas, and the messy world intersect. Her work has brought her into contact with everything from medieval theology to early American history; postmodern dance to ecology; William Shakespeare to Wallace Stevens.

After graduating from Yale as a Humanities major in 2008, Agnes co-founded a nonprofit that taught creative writing in Savannah public schools. She eventually relocated to New York and, more recently, Los Angeles. Her writing on art, politics, religion, and culture has appeared in n+1, Slate, Tablet Magazine, the Brooklyn Rail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and HowlRound.

She has an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College and a certificate in permaculture design from the Los Angeles Permaculture Academy.

Her recent theater piece, A Song of Songs (2022), was a collaboration between the Bushwick Starr and El Puente Williamsburg. A new play, The Trees, will premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 2023. Sasha Masha, a young adult novel, came out from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2020.

Agnes has worked with everyone from preschoolers to college students. She taught playwriting at NYU, and works with Forum students to deepen their thinking about literature, history, and philosophy, while sharpening the expressiveness of their writing.

Publications (books):

Brief Chronicle, Books 6-8 [play], 3 Hole Press (2017)

Sasha Masha [novel], Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers (2020)

Of Government [play], in Unusual Stories, Unusually Told: 7 Contemporary American Plays from Clubbed Thumb, Methuen Drama (2021)


Sundance Interdisciplinary Program, Art of Practice Fellowship, 2021-22

Residencies at Berkeley Rep, SPACE on Ryder Farm, University Settlement (NYC), PAM (LA), LMCC, Page 73, Masrah Ensemble (Beirut), and elsewhere.

New Play Commissions from Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, and the Ensemble Studio Theater.

- Rolling Stone College Journalism Award

- Wallace Prize for creative nonfiction (Yale)

- Wright Prize for creative nonfiction (Yale)

- Curtis Prize for Excellence in English (Yale)

- E. Francis Riggs Memorial Prize for distinction in Directed Studies (Yale)