Carl Phillips, referred to as “one of America’s most original, influential, and productive of lyric poets,” has authored 14 books of poetry and several works of criticism and translation. His recent poetry collections include: Wild is the Wind (2018), Reconnaissance (2015), Silverchest (2013), Double Shadow (2011), and Speak Low (2009). His prose works include: The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination (2014), and Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry (2004).
Phillips attended Harvard College, where he was strongly influenced by Latin and Greek poets and playwrights, including Thucydides, Cicero, and Tacitus. He was “struck by the immediacy of the emotional content of the work. …I saw those writers as companions, whose humanness I recognized; longing, grief, rage, and joy are not emotions which single us out as strangers, but which unify us in our being human.” Phillips served for six years as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and he is currently Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
Phillips’ many recognitions include an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize, the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, the Kingsley Tuft Poetry Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Library of Congress. Elizabeth Lund in The Washington Post said the writing in Wild is the Wind “dazzles with transcendent metaphors, complex connections and linguistic flourishes. It also draws on some familiar Phillips motifs—navigation and the sea, the sky and land—to explore the possibility that love can bring both stability and freedom.”
Carl Phillips will give a craft talk on “Poetry and Muscularity” at 9 a.m. on August 2. He will also be reading at Pine Ridge Vineyards on July 31. For information on how to attend lectures and readings, visit the Literary Events page.