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Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Distinguished Professor
Ph.D. Brown University, 2003
Poetry; nonfiction; translation; Black American and Caribbean literatures
Humanities 2078
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Twitter: @RowanRicardo

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  • Biography


    Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a Distinguished Professor of English at Stony Brook University. A highly acclaimed, multi-award-winning poet, author, screenwriter, academic, journalist and translator, Phillips is the author of several books. His poetry collections include The Ground (FSG, 2012), Heaven (FSG, 2015), Living Weapon (2020), and the forthcoming Silver (FSG, 2024). He is also the author of When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness (a new edition of which is forthcoming from FSG) and the nonfiction book The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey. His translations, primarily from Catalan, have appeared widely; including his translation of Salvador Espriu’s classic short-story collection Arianda and the Grotesque Labyrinth (Dalkey Archive, 2012).Phillips has written on contemporary art for Artforum as well as for David Kordansky Gallery. In 2021, an exhibition inspired by one of Phillips’ poems, “The Beatitudes of Malibu” debuted at the David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles. Phillips is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, the President of the Board of the New York Institute of the Humanities, and the poetry editor of The New Republic. 

    He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Whiting Award, and the GLCA New Writers Award. He has also been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the NAACP Award for Outstanding Work in Poetry, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

    Also a renowned sportswriter, Phillips is a curatorial consultant to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His book in progress, I Just Want Them to Remember Me: Black Baseball in America will be published by FSG in 2025. He has written extensively on baseball, basketball, soccer, and tennis for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review.

    Phillips’ screenplay, Clemente, for a biopic based on the life of baseball icon Roberto Clemente is in pre-development for Legendary Entertainment and LeGrisbi Productions. The screenplay is adapted from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Maraniss' biography Clemente: The Pride and Passion of Baseball’s Last Hero. His poetry has been adapted for music and has also appeared on Spike Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.  

    A graduate of Swarthmore College and Brown University, where he earned his doctorate in English Literature, Rowan Ricardo Phillips divides his time between New York City and Barcelona with his wife and two daughters.

  • Recent Courses

    Recent Courses

    Advanced Poetry Workshop

    Senior Seminar on 21st Century Poetry

    History of the Lyric

    Literary Analysis and Argumentation

    Literary Genres and Movements

    Contemporary Black American Literature

    Introduction to Poetry

  • Publications


    Living Weapon (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux: 2020)

    The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux: 2018)

    Heaven (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux: 2015)

    The Ground (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux: 2012)

    Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth (Dalkey Archive Press: 2012)

    When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness (Dalkey Archive Press: 2010)

  • Academic Honors

    Academic honors 

    Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award

    Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Poetry

    John Simon GuggenheimMemorial Foundation 

    New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU Fellow

    Whiting Writers’ Award

    PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award in Poetry, PEN America Center

    GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry, Great Lakes Colleges Association

  • Recent Papers and Talks

    recent papers and talks


    -Reading, Sacred Heart Schools (Convent and Stuart Hall), 13 November 2018 

    -Reading, Saint Louis University, Prison Education Program & Campus visit, 24-25 September 2018

    -A Reading of Emily Wilson’s Odyssey, With Emily Wilson, Rachel Hadas, and Brenda Shaughnessy, Poets House, 21 September 2018

    -2018 Writer in Residence, Northwestern University, Department of English, 11thAnnual Writers’ Festival, Evanston, Illinois, March 2018      

    -“In Conversation: Teju Cole, Ishion Hutchinson, Rowan Ricardo Phillips”, Key West Literary Seminar, Key West, Florida, January 2018

    -Reading, The Irish Arts Center, New York, New York, 5 November 2017

    -Reading, The Nightingale-Bamford School, New York, New York, 3 November 2017

    -Reading, Festival Poesia i +, Caldes d’estrac, Catalunya, 17 July 2017--Reading, The College of Wooster, Wooster, MA, 20 April 2017

    -Reading and Talk, The Nichols School, Buffalo, NY, 6-7 March 2017

    -Featured Presenter, Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference, Washington, DC, 10 February 2017