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Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Under the Surface: Studying the Music of Your Imagination

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, photo by Sue Kwon
Rowan Ricardo Phillips, photo by Sue Kwon
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This workshop is now full. You can still apply to be considered as an alternate.

workshop description

In this workshop, we will work to enhance simultaneously your imagination and your use of sound in order to take your poems to their next level. A poem is always about the relationship between its sonic and imaginative parts; this is what convinces the ear that the subject is not only real, but important. We will study techniques used by poets across various eras, as well as workshop your own poems extensively in search of the keenest balance in your work between these three pillars of the art of poetry: sound, subject, and the imagination.


Click here to apply via Submittable

•     Admission to this workshop will be based upon an application including a writing sample of three or four poems.

•    Confirmed participants should become familiar with John Hollander’s Rhyme’s Reason in advance of the workshop.

•     The cost of the workshop is $550. If you are accepted, a $100 deposit will be required to hold your place within a week of acceptance, with full payment due within 30 days.

•     Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning March 16 until the class is full.

Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and application.

about Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the award-winning author of two books of poetry, The Ground and Heaven, both published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as the acclaimed collection of literary essays When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness and a translation, from the Catalan, of Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, and the GLCA New Writers Award. He has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and the NAACP Image Award for Poetry, and a long-listed finalist for the PEN Open Book Award and the National Book Award. Published in 2015, Heaven has been named one of the best books or best poetry collections of the year by numerous publications, including the Washington Post and National Public Radio. His poetry has been translated into Catalan, German, Italian, Norwegian, and Spanish.

Also a prodigious sportswriter, Rowan writes a weekly basketball column for the Paris Review. “Just about everything that Rowan Ricardo Phillips has to say about basketball is recommended reading,” hails the Millions. His essays on soccer have been featured in the New Republic, the Paris Review, Howler, and Soccer Gods.

Phillips has taught at Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, and Stony Brook University. He is also a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. He lives in New York City and Barcelona.