Born and raised in New York City, Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a poet, essayist, critic, sportswriter, and translator. His poetry and writing have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and Artforum International, among others.
He is the author of two books of poetry, The Ground and Heaven; the acclaimed collection of literary essays, When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness; and, most recently, the genre-defying account of the 2017 tennis season, The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey. He is also the translator of Salvador Espriu’s story collection Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth and other works from Catalan, Spanish, and Italian.
Phillips is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. He has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the NAACP Image Award and a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award and the National Book Award. Heaven was named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2015 and one of the Washington Post’s best new poetry collections. His poetry has been translated into Catalan, German, Italian, Norwegian, and Spanish.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and his doctorate degree from Brown University. He has taught at Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, and Stony Brook universities and is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. He is currently writing the screenplay to Clemente, the forthcoming feature film from Legendary Pictures about baseball icon Roberto Clemente. He divides his time between New York City and Barcelona.
The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey (2018)
The Ground (2012)
When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness (2010)
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Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s website
Q&A with Phillips in Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s Work in Progress
“Vall de Núria,” Phillips’s poem featured in the New York Times Magazine, May 6, 2016
“The Poet as Translator and Translator as Poet,” Words without Borders, April 25, 2016
Video: Phillips reads from Heaven