Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: Highland Park, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Adria Bernardi grew up in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. In 1989 she received her M. A. from the University of Chicago, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Italian Literature.

Biographical and Professional Information

Adria Bernardi is the author of two novels, Openwork and The Day Laid on the Altar, which was awarded the 1999 Bakeless Prize by Andrea Barrett, and a collection of short stories, In the Gathering Woods, which was awarded the 2000 Drue Heinz Literature Prize by the late Frank Conroy. Her translation of the work of the Italian poet Raffaello Baldini, Small Talk, was published in 2009 by Gradiva Publications. She was awarded the 2007 Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship by the America Academy of Poets to complete this work. Her translation of the poetry of Rinaldo Caddeo was published under the title Sirens’ Song. She has also translated Adventures in Africa by Gianni Celati and Abandoned Places by Tonino Guerra. She is the author of an oral history, Houses with Names: The Italian Immigrants of Highwood, Illinois. Bernardi has taught fiction writing at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. She lives in Nashville, Tenn.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- 2021 FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize by Joyelle McSweeney for her novel, Benefit Street (University of Alabama) 2022.

-- 2011 The Christopher Isherwood Foundation Fellowship. R.V. Cassill Grant.

-- 2002 Worcester Cultural Commission, Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship

-- 2007 Raiziss / DePalchi Translation Award, American Academy of Poets, to complete the translation of Small talk, by Raffaello Baldini.

-- 2000 Awarded the 2000 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, by Frank Conroy, for the collection of short stories, In the Gathering Woods (University of Pittsburgh Press) 1999

-- 1999 Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for Fiction by Andrea Barrett, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Middlebury College (University of New England Press)

-- 1999 First Prize, Essay, Hep-Lock, Missouri Review.

-- 1998 A.E. Coppard Prize for Fiction.

-- 1995 James Fellowship for Novel-in-Progress, Heekin Group Foundation Awards.