We are pleased to announce this year’s guest speaker, poet and essayist Rowan Ricardo Phillips. Phillips is author of two poetry collections published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Heaven (2015) and The Ground: Poems (2013). Phillips is the the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim fellowship for poetry, the Whiting Writers’ Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and the GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Heaven, an award that recognizes works that contribute to our understanding racism and cultural diversity.
Phillips’ poetry and writing has appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, Poetry, Granta, and The Paris Review. He is a contributing writer for Artforum Magazine and has written extensively online about soccer for The New Republic and The Paris Review, where he also contributes a column on basketball. In addition to his work in the field of poetry, Phillips writes literary criticism, art criticism, literary sports writing, and non-fiction. The author of the influential critical study of poetry When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness, Phillips is also the translator of Salvador Espriu’s story collection Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth as well as numerous other works from Catalan, Spanish, and Italian.
Born in New York City in 1974 Phillips earned his BA at Swarthmore College and his PhD at Brown University. He has taught at Stony Brook, Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia. A Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, he divides his time between New York City and Barcelona.