He was a child of a military family, moving year-by-year until finally settling in his high-school years on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A graduate of Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Boston University, Phillips taught high-school Latin for eight years.
His first collection of poems, In the Blood, won the 1992 Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, and his second book, Cortège, was nominated for a 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award. His Pastoral won the 2001 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Phillips' work has been published in the Yale Review, Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker and the Paris Review. He was named a Witter Bynner Fellow in 1998 and in 2006, he was named the recipient of the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets, given in memory of James Merrill. Phillips is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
In 2002, Phillips received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, for The Tether. He won the Thom Gunn Award in 2005 for The Rest of Love.
His poems, which include themes of spirituality, sexuality, mortality, and faith, are featured in American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006) and many other anthologies.
Phillips is a judge for the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize. In April 2010, Phillips was named as the new judge of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, replacing Louise Gluck. In 2011, Phillip was appointed to the judging panel for The Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. His collection of poetry, Double Shadow, was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for poetry. Double Shadow won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Poetry category).
Carl Phillips, 2000, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl/oneITEM.asp?pid=2033889&iid=1124017&srchtype=)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)
Pastoral: Poems by Carl Phillips
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Graywolf Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2002)
Amazon: Pastoral: Poems
In his newest book, National Book Award finalist Carl Phillips creates a shadowy inner landscape where the field is the heart, and the heart itself has a beautifully, often treacherously flawed darkness that each of us seeks to penetrate, believing in the possibility of light. Examining how to fill and fulfill the life granted us--how to realize the self entirely, and in time--these rhythmically sequenced meditations circle the predicaments of our longing against the backdrop of pastoral tradition. How do we balance control and abandonment when making poetry, as well as in making a life with another person? How do we reconcile fleshly desire and spiritual intention? Tightly coherent, emotionally nuanced, Pastoral both enlarges and defines Phillips's already impressive poetic territory.
Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986-2006 by Carl Phillips
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (May 1, 2007)
Amazon: Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986-2006
Quiver of Arrows is a generous gathering from Carl Phillips's work that showcases the twenty-year evolution of one of America's most distinctive--and one of poetry's most essential--contemporary voices. Hailed from the beginning of his career for a poetry provocative in its candor, uncompromising in its inquiry, and at once rigorous and innovative in its attention to craft, Phillips has in the course of eight critically acclaimed collections generated a sustained meditation on the restless and ever-shifting myth of human identity. Desire and loss, mastery and subjugation, belief and doubt, sex, animal instinct, human reason: these are among the lenses through which Phillips examines what it means to be that most bewildering, irresolvable conundrum, a human being in the world. Phillips's sensibility as he questions morality, psychology, and our notions of responsibility is as startlingly original as the poems themselves, whose exacting standards for the line's flexibility and whose argument for a versatile, more muscular syntax bring to American poetry "something not unlike a new musical scale" (The Miami Herald). Quiver of Arrows is the record of a powerful vision that, in its illumination of the human condition, has established itself as a necessary step toward our understanding of who we are in the twenty-first century.
Double Shadow: Poems by Carl Phillips
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)
Amazon: Double Shadow: Poems
A Boston Globe Best Poetry Book of 2011 A stunning new collection of poems from the author of Speak Low Comparing any human life to “a restless choir” of impulses variously in conflict and at peace with one another, Carl Phillips, in his eleventh book, examines the double shadow that a life casts forth: “now risk, and now / faintheartedness.” In poems that both embody and inhabit this double shadow, risk and faintheartedness prove to have the power equally to rescue us from ourselves and to destroy us. Spare, haunted, and haunting, yet not without hope, Double Shadow argues for life as a wilderness through which there’s only the questing forward—with no regrets and no looking back. Double Shadow is a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry Winner of the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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