Carl Phillips has emerged in the past decade as one of America's most original, influential, and productive of lyric poets. Born in 1959, in Everett, Washington, Phillips received his AB in Greek and Latin from Harvard University in 1981 and his MAT in Latin and classical humanities from the University of Massachusetts in 1983, after which he taught Latin in Massachusetts prep schools for eight years. He returned to Harvard as a doctoral student in classical philology but moved to Boston University where he received his MA in creative writing in 1993. Since 1993 he has held a joint position in English, creative writing, and African-American studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also a widely sought teacher and workshop leader, having taught often at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and having held visiting positions at the University of Iowa, Harvard University, Northwestern University, and elsewhere.
Phillips's books of poetry have appeared rapidly since 1992, with the appearance of his Samuel French Morse Award-winning In the Blood, followed by Cortege (1995), From the Devotions (1998), and Pastoral (2000), all published by Graywolf Press. His subsequent poetry collections have appeared from Farrar, Straus & Giroux: The Tether (2001), Rock Harbor (2002), The Rest of Love (2004), Riding Westward (2006), and most recently Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006 (2007). For his books he has been awarded such prestigious honors as the Kingsley Tufts Prize, the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress.
In addition to his poetry, Phillips is an influential critic, literary scholar, and translator. His articles-ranging from the poetry of George Herbert to the problematic of the prose poem to the issue of identity in African-American poetry-appear regularly in periodicals such as American Poet, Field, and New England Review. In 2003 his translation of Sophocles' Philoctetes was published by Oxford University Press, and in 2004 his critical collection, Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry, appeared from Graywolf.
Phillips is Professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches in the Creative Writing Program. He was elected an Academy Chancellor in 2006.
Poems - 10 in all
A Kind of Meadow
Leda, After the Swan
Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm