ESSAY ON THE RS 500
March 2017—My little essay about eccentric young men who think they deserve attention and expect others to absorb their abuses is now up on The RS 500 as a response to The Mothers of Invention’s Freak Out! album. Thanks so much to editor Brad Efford for always having me on The RS 500 bandwagon!
Being deep is often so shallow. I want to call out our darling boys. I want to say you’re so unique you’re nothing special.
TWO POEMS IN FOUNDRY
February 2017—My poems “Self-Portrait Without a Body” and “Pica of Unsaid Things” are in the new issue of Foundry. Many thanks to Elizabeth Onusko for giving this work a home.
POEM ON BANANGO STREET
February 2017—My poem “Barista,” inspired by the form of Laura Kasischke’s “Hostess,” is now up on Banango Street.
MANIFESTO IN NEW ANTHOLOGY
February 2017—Thanks to editors Rebecca Hazelton and Alan Michael Parker for including my poetics manifesto in the new anthology The Manifesto Project, now available from The University of Akron Press.
ESSAY ON LITERARY MAGAZINES NOW ON PLOUGHSHARES
February 2017—My new little essay “Earing the Clink of Chisels: An Imperfect Love Letter to Reading Literary Magazines” begins with my experience of reading 1918 issues of The Little Review at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Library & Archives (thanks, Susie Anderson!) but then becomes something of a meditation on reading lit. mags in general. Check it out over on Ploughshares.
JOINING THE FACULTY AT UNCG’S MFA WRITING PROGRAM
February 2017—In Fall 2017, I will join the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as an Assistant Professor of Poetry. I’m thrilled about the opportunity, and I will be posting more about the transition here on the News page and at my blog, Ears Roaring with Many Things.
LIST IN NEW ISSUE OF TAB
February 2017—”A List for Mentors” appears in the new print issue of TAB: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics alongside my AWP Writer2Writer mentee Ann V. DeVilbiss’s poem and other program participants.
POEM IN NEW ANTHOLOGY
February 2017—My poem “Solitude of Space” appears in The Heart’s Many Doors: American Poets Respond to Metka Krašovec’s Images Responding to Emily Dickinson, edited by Richard Jackson, now available from Wings Press. More info about the anthology: “Slovian artist Metka Krašovek created a suite of drawings inspired by the poems of Emily Dickinson. Editor Richard Jackson began gathering poems created in response to the drawings — fascinating and insightful examples of double ekphrasis. The Heart’s Many Doors is a rich cross-genre combination of writing and art that functions as a multi-faceted commentary on Dickinson, art and the creative process.”
REVIEW OF SOLMAZ SHARIF’S LOOK IN DIODE
January 2017—My review of Solmaz Sharif’s poetry collection Look is now up in the 10th Anniversary Issue of Diode. Thank you to editor Patty Paine for publishing the review. Buy Look directly from Graywolf Press here.
ESSAY ON POETIC SCALE & SCOPE ON PLOUGHSHARES
January 2017—“White-Out Conditions: Poetic Page, Scale, and Scope,” my latest Ploughshares essay, explores poetic scale and scope, form and format, composition mediums, Dana Levin’s Banana Palace, and more!
THE COLLAPSAR‘S WEEKLY RECOMMENDATIONS
January 2017—Thanks to the editors of The Collapsar for including my poem “Age of Beauty,” a Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets, on their list of favorite reads this week!
POEM ON POEM-A-DAY
January 2017—Thanks to Alex Dimitrov for including my poem “Age of Beauty” on Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets.
POEM ON BOAAT
January 2017—Thanks to poetry editor Shane McCrae for including my poem “This is how I came to know how to,” from my third manuscript Empty Clip, in the new issue of BOAAT.
POEM ON GLASS POETRY‘S 2016 RECOMMENDED READING
December 2016—Thanks to Glass Poetry for including my poem published originally in Muzzle in their “Recommended Reading: 2016” list!
ESSAY ON HEARING & DRAFTING POETRY ALOUD NOW ON PLOUGHSHARES
December 2016—My essay “Aloud Poetry” explores poetry heard aloud, including poems by Lucille Clifton and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
The longer I’ve lived my life with poetry, the more I desire to hear it aloud, experience it aloud.
ESSAY ON POETRY’S RELEVANCE & THE RISK OF TOO MUCH EMPATHY ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
November 2016—My essay “Truth & Dread: Why Poetry Still Matters & the Risk of (Too Much) Empathy” is now on the Ploughshares blog.
Can the act of empathy, learned from literature and poetry, become an act of appropriation when we take it to our lived lives? This is a question I haven’t been able to answer. Each of us is not a sun around which others revolve; we cannot, like black holes, pull everything into us without risking erasure, of others, of ourselves. Perhaps more than the practice of empathy, poetry offers us the opportunity to listen, and not just in the way that it appeals to the same areas of the brain music stimulates, and not just in the way that we can hear the cadence and rhythm and sounds of poetry. Perhaps poetry offers us the opportunity to hear its many speakers, to not so much as internalize each of their voices and experiences as to confirm them, to say, you are you, you are a voice, I hear you.
ESSAY RESPONSE TO DAVID BOWIE’S ALADDIN SANE NOW ON THE RS 500
November 2016—In this response to David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, I explore the body, trauma, road trips, and more.
Tonight, my body reveals itself only in its sleepiness. I’m uncertain if the bodily disconnect is a good or a bad thing, something I should want, something I should even need. Do we need the mercy of being relieved from our bodies sometimes? Does you mean the you I understand myself to be, or the you that others see me as, a body?
Thanks to editor Brad Efford for having me back on The RS 500.
BENEATH THE ICE FISH LIKE SOULS LOOK ALIKE ON SMALL PRESS DISTRIBUTION BEST SELLERS LIST FOR OCTOBER 2016
November 2016—My chapbook Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike is #14 on the SPD Best Sellers List for October! Thanks to Bull City Press for all their support of the chapbook.
UPCOMING READING AT WILLIAMS CENTER FOR THE ARTS
October 2016—This coming Wednesday, November 2nd, I’m reading for Red Wheelbarrow Poets & The Williams Poetry Readings at the Williams Center For The Arts in Rutherford, New Jersey. There will also be a brief response to the poetry of WCW & readings from the floor. Event info is available on Facebook.
2017 BLOGGING FOR PLOUGHSHARES
October 2016—I’m excited to announce that I’m continuing on as a blogger for Ploughshares in 2017. Thanks to Ellen Duffer for inviting me to stick around. My next post will go up on November 21st, and my author archive compiles all of my posts in one place.
READINGS AT WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE AND MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY
October 2016—This week I’m reading at Washington & Jefferson College (Wednesday) and Montclair State University (Friday). I hope to see you there, western Pennsylvania & Montclair, New Jersey friends! Thanks to George David Clark and Claudia Cortese for having me out.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 7 PM: A Reading by Emilia Phillips at Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA.
Friday, October 28, 2016, 10 AM: A Reading and Q&A by Apryl Lee & Emilia Phillips at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ.
THANK YOU, DODGE POETRY FESTIVAL
October 2016—Thanks so much to the Dodge Poetry Festival for having me as a festival poet this year. I had such an incredible time, and I feel charged up as both a writer and a teacher. I’ve included some photos below.
ONLINE POETRY WORKSHOP “EVERY PHANTOM // A STORY: ERASURE & REVISION” SCHEDULED FOR SPRING 2017
October 2016—In the spring, I’m teaching an eight-week online poetry workshop, “Every Phantom // A Story: Erasure & Revision,” for 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center Online Writing Program. I hope to have you join me for this generative & erasive workshop from March 6 to April 28. Registration: $500. Course description:
What isn’t said in a poem is just as meaningful-just as much a craft choice-as what is said. As poets, we so often go to the page with the intention of telling our readers something; this approach, however, often positions us between the reader and the text, like a person narrating a movie in front of the projector. In this course, we will investigate the ways in which poems “write themselves” and how images, without the aid of expositional transitions, create their own narratives, after Cesare Pavese’s idea of the “image narrative.” We will discover the impact and implied meanings of white space in poems, and we will investigate the strategies of other poets in revising through redaction and compression. We will look at erasure texts-texts that have been redacted into new texts-by poets like Mary Ruefle and Robin Coste Lewis, and consider the legacies of poets, like Sappho whose work survives only in fragments. Throughout the course of the eight weeks, participants will be asked to draft at least six new poems, unwieldy and wild and uninhibited, that in subsequent weeks they will slowly revise, re-form, and compress; through these long-term revision strategies, participants will be able to introduce subtext and depth to their poems, while honing their craft and style.
GROUNDSPEED INCLUDED ON BEST DRESSED
October 2016—Many thanks to Sundress Publications, especially Sam Slaughter, for naming Groundspeed Best Dressed on their blog, The Wardrobe. For this feature, the blog posts one poem a day for five days. Here’s a list of each entry and the date it appeared:
- October 17: “Pastoral (Future Interstate)”
- October 18: “Stopping at Texaco a Year After My Brother’s Death”
- October 19: “Wheelchair in a Hayloft”
- October 20: “YouTube: Dog Eating a Human Leg On the Ganges”
- October 21: “The Episode of Cops In Which My Father Appears”
DODGE POETRY FESTIVAL THIS WEEK
October 2016—This Thursday, October 20th kicks off the official events for the 30th Anniversary Dodge Poetry Festival. On Wednesday night, I will be reading in a preliminary event and then again on Saturday and Sunday in the festival poet lineup. Here’s the complete information about my events:
Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 7 PM: A Reading by New Jersey Dodge Poetry Festival Poets Jonterri Gadson, Emilia Phillips, and Vincent Toro, Barnes & Noble, 765 Route 17 South, Paramus, NJ.
Thursday, October 20–Sunday, October 23, 2016: Dodge Poetry Festival, NJPAC, Newark, NJ.
Saturday, October 22, 3:30-4:40 pm: Festival Poet Reading by Mahogany L. Browne, Jonterri Gadson, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Rickey Laurentiis, and Emilia Phillips, Trinity–St. Philips, 608 Broad St, Newark, NJ.
Sunday, October 23, 9:30–10:40 am: Festival Poet Reading by Nicole Terez Dutton, Jonterri Gadson, Stephanie Lenox, Emilia Phillips and R.A. Villanueva, Newark Museum, 49 Washington St, Newark, NJ.
ESSAY ON POSTHUMOUS PUBLICATION ON PLOUGHSHARES
October 2016—My essay “The Silence Waits, Wild to Be Broken: Posthumous Publications and the Lives of Poems” considers my brief time working with the poems of Larry Levis and Claudia Emerson toward posthumous publication. It also allows those with more of a role to talk about the experience of working with writers works after their deaths. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and thanks to Ellen Duffer and Ploughshares for publishing the piece.
But one must wonder then who an uncollected volume is for. Is it for the friends and family of the poet? The readers who already know and love the work? If so, how one might argue that the relevance of any given collection is based strictly upon the individual reader, rather than the publishing market as a whole.
FEATURED ON LYRIC ESSENTIALS
October 2016—Lyric Essentials from Sundress Publications had me on to read and discuss Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s poem “Song.” Thanks to Chris Petruccelli for inviting me to celebrate one of my favorite poems.
POEM ON LUNCH
September 2016—My poem “To the Neighbor Boy with His Father’s Hunting Rifle, Begging Police to Shoot” is now up on Lunch. To get to the poem, click on the top right square or look to the comments here for a direct link.
Thank you, D Period Gilson, for including me in this “Politics” issue alongside work by Jennifer L. Knox, Will Stockton, Sarah Leavens, Charles Jensen, Michael Carosone, Glen Armstrong, Hannah Smallwood, Kelly DuMar, Christine Butterworth-McDermott, Jim Elledge, ings, William Walsh, Caroline Crew, James Penha, Jonathan Travelstead, Hunter Heath, C. Russel Price, Daniel C. Remein, JoAnna Novak, KC Trommer, Andrew Rihn, Alan C. Montroso, Denise Duhamel, Derrick Miller, Stephen C. Mills, Sujata Iyengar, Kendra Leonard, Philip Dean Walker, Aaron Smith, Sarah J. Sloat, Alexa Huang, Jeoffrey A. Pucci, and Robert Wrigley.
ESSAY ON POETRY AND LONELINESS OVER ON THE PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
September 2016—“It Might Be Lonelier Without the Loneliness: Poetry and Loneliness” is now live on the Ploughshares blog.
I’ve started collecting lines about loneliness without even realizing what I was doing, the way one might walk a maze without realizing the path from above looks like a star or a cactus or a horse. Larry Levis opens his poem “Ghazal” with the question and its qualification, “Does exile begin at birth? I lived beside a wide river / For so long I stopped hearing it.” Sometimes I worry that the act of reading poetry in my times of loneliness and grief will actually cause it to lose some of its effect, that it will become neutered of its comfort, that the Loneliness poetry offers will become like that wide river I live beside for so long that I stop hearing it. It hasn’t happened yet, but like Dickinson, I feel that I might be lonelier without it, that if there’s ever a time in which I lose my access to or desire for poetry, I will truly be alone, now and forever.
“DREAM OF THE PHONE BOOTH” INCLUDED IN POETRY OUT LOUD
September 2016—My poem “Dream of the Phone Booth,” which was originally published in Poetry and now appears in my third book manuscript Empty Clip, is one of the poems available to participants in Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation contest. I’ve previously judged school-level POL competitions at Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in Petersburg, Virginia and St. Catherine’s School for Girls in Richmond, and I was able to attend the Virginia finals two years ago. I’m always in awe of the young people who participate in the program, and to have one of my own poems included here is an enormous honor for me. Thank you to Poetry Out Loud, and for Patty Smith for letting me know about the inclusion.
DATE ADDED TO FALL 2016 READINGS
September 2016—As a prelude to the Dodge Poetry Festival, festival poets who are regionally based will be reading at the Barnes & Noble in Paramus, New Jersey on Wednesday, October 19th at 7 pm.
FALL 2016 READING SCHEDULE
September 2016—I have some readings, lectures, and workshops in support of Groundspeed and OFFSET: A Poetry Broadside Digitization Project lined up for Fall 2016. The updated schedule is available on the Readings & Events page.
BLOG ACTIVE AGAIN
September 2016—I’m trying to blog again with some of my writing exercises, something I love but went by the wayside in my transition to full-time faculty last year. Right now, in order to make this easier for me, I’m linking from my blog to my exercises in my Google Drive. I’ve got my two first-day exercises for Craft of Prose and Poetry Workshop up, along with a note about #FridayWritingDay. Check them out over on Ears Roaring With Many Things: On Writing & Teaching Creative Writing.
REVIEW OF LINDA GREGERSON’S NEW AND SELECTED ON LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS
August 2016—“Home to Humanity: Linda Gregerson’s Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976–2014“ is now available on the Los Angeles Review of Books. It was an honor to spend this much time with Gregerson’s work.
If the language of Gregerson’s poems could be played on the piano, the player would have to press down on the sustain pedal in order to render musically the length of attention paid to every word. In the previous passage, the word ‘here,’ separated from the rest of its sentence by a stanza break and indentation, hangs, both syntactically and conceptually, ‘in borrowed air.’ All of Gregerson’s poems are both meticulously formal and immediate; it is precisely because she breaks her lines with such precision that we hear her words as if they were uttered in real time. Gregerson orchestrates voice and persona with maximal care, asking readers to connect to that voice in the moment and insisting that they remember what is said.
“PHONESTHESIA: POETIC SOUND AND DIEGETIC NOISE” ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
August 2016—In my new Ploughshares blog post, I ask questions like “Can I make a horse neigh in a poem…?” with a straight face. Thanks to Ellen Duffer and Amelia Hassani for the inclusion.
INTERVIEW APPEARS ON PET POETICS
August 2016—Thanks to Ruth Award for interviewing me about my dog Grady on Pet Poetics.
“All the dogs I’ve ever had give me ideas for occasions of joy.”
BRIEF INTERVIEW APPEARS ON THE MIRA PROJECT
August 2016—Thanks to Scherezade Siobhan for inviting me to participate in a brief interview over on The Mira Project, a global conversation on gender, violence, street harassment and women’s mental health.
SIX MONTHS OF BLOGGING FOR PLOUGHSHARES
August 2016—I have been blogging for Ploughshares for six months now, and my seventh post “Phonesthesia: Poetic Sound and Diegetic Noise” will go live on on Monday, August 15th. In the mean time, all six of my previous posts, one for each month, are available at my Author Archive on the Ploughshares Blog.
- July: “Urgency: On Writing About the Body and the Corporeality of the Lyric”
- June: “The Cost of the Academic Job: A Personal Narrative”
- May: “L’Appel du Vide: On Visual Caesuras and Erasure”
- April: “Reconstruction: How the Lyric Essay Rendered One Body After Trauma”
- March: “The Autobiography of the Imagination: Toward a Definition”
- February: “On and Of the Page: The Life–Art Collapse”
PROFILE UP ON DODGE POETRY FESTIVAL SITE
August 2016—I’m still in awe of the fact that I’m going as one of the festival poets to Dodge this year. My bio is now up on their site.
INTERVIEW ON MEMORIOUS
July 2016—Thank you to Anastasia Stelse for interviewing me about Groundspeed for Memorious and to Rebecca Morgan Frank for arranging the conversation.
ESSAY ON WRITING ABOUT THE BODY ON PLOUGHSHARES
July 2016—“Urgency: On Writing About the Body and the Corporeality of the Lyric” is now available on the Ploughshares blog.
DODGE POETRY FESTIVAL
July 2016—I have been invited to be one of the poets at the Dodge Poetry Festival this October. This is one of my big poetry dreams, and I am so thrilled! The schedule and lineup will be available soon.
July 2016—Justin Bigos and I are completing an anthology of interviews with poets. We have narrowed down to twenty interviews we have published over the past few years. We are including an introduction on the art of interviewing and the state of contemporary American poetry. But, we’re struggling to find a press. Any ideas for a press that might be interested in such a project? Justin and I would be very grateful for any thoughts. Email me at phillipse01 (at) centenarycollege (dot) edu.
UPCOMING READING IN PITTSBURGH
July 2016—I will be reading with Jenny Johnson, Rachel Mennies, and Lauren Russell at East End Book Exchange in Pittsburgh on Sunday, July 31st at 4 PM. The poster is below!
GROUNDSPEED MENTIONED IN SUMMER READING LIST AT THE MISSOURI REVIEW
July 2016—Thanks to Corey Van Landingham for including Groundspeed in your Missouri Review summer reading list alongside new books by Brittany Cavallaro, Kathryn Rhett, Phillip B. Williams, Keith Leonard, and Aracelis Girmay.
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR HVWC CLASS NOW OPEN
July 2016—I will be teaching “Walk the Line: The Tension Between Line & Syntax” at the The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center Saturday, September 24 from 12:30–4:30 pm. Come join us as we literally and figuratively walk poetic lines and consider the ways in which we can bring energy, precision, and depth to poems through our manipulation of line breaks.
“We will consider the relationship between poetry’s vehicles of meaning: the line and the sentence. In doing so, we’ll investigate the ways in which these structures support, nuance, and deny one another to achieve resonance, depth, and subtext within a poem. This course will be generative, with exercises that rely on close reading and formal manipulation of texts, as well as the drafting of new pieces. Whether you want to learn more about what your favorite poets are doing with their poems or discover how to break lines in your own, this course will insist that poetry is a craft, honed by exercises and study.”
Register on HVWC’s website.
ESSAY ON CREATIVE WRITING JOB MARKET NOW ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
June 2016—My essay “The Cost of the Academic Job: A Personal Narrative” is now available on the Ploughshares Blog. Many thanks to Ellen Duffer and Amelia Hassani for their super fine editing skills!
PHOTO FROM READING AT BERL’S LAST NIGHT
June 2016—Because I don’t often post about readings here, I thought I would share a photo from last night’s event at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop. I read with Hossanah Asuncion, Aracelis Girmay, and R.A. Villanueva, and we are joined in this photo by the incredible company of José Olivarez, Jon Sands, and Joy Priest. Oh, P.S. I’m wearing my goofy sunglasses because my regular glasses were broken!
POEM APPEARS IN HORSETHIEF
June 2016—My new poem “The CIA Livetweets the Assassination of Usama Bin Ladin Five Years Later” appears alongside poems by Joe Gutierrez, Anthony Madrid, Cate Lycurgus, Cynthia Cruz, & Dan Chelotti in the new issue of Horsethief! Thanks to editors Justin Boening & Devon Walker-Figuero for inviting me to be a part of the issue.
ESSAY ON VISUAL CAESURAS AND ERASURE ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
May 2016—My little essay “L’Appel du Vide: On Visual Caesuras and Erasure” takes a look at poems by Claudia Emerson (thanks Louisiana State University Press), Nate Marshall, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Vievee Francis, Brenda Hillman, Jean Valentine, and Shane McRae in order to consider motivations for using the visual caesura. From there, I consider the increasing popularity of erasure texts. Thank you Ploughshares blog editors Ellen Duffer and Amelia Hassani for all your help on this piece.
ERASURE PROJECT NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
April 2016—I have finished scanning Sap, my Eusapian-themed erasure of Calvino’s Invisible Cities. All 50 scans, its transcribed text, process notes and background, and resources for erasure texts are available on this site.
ESSAY ABOUT LYRIC ESSAY FORM ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
April 2016—My essay “Reconstruction: How the Lyric Essay Rendered One Body After Trauma” is now live on the Ploughshares blog. Thanks to Amelia Hassani and Ellen Duffer for allowing me to talk about how I was drawn to the lyric essay form after going through excisive and reconstructive surgeries, how bodily forms sometimes beget textual forms. Ellen Lupton, Walt Whitman, Roxane Gay, Wisława Szymborska, and others are also quoted here. Here’s the opening:
I didn’t start writing lyric essays until I found out I had cancer. The melanoma buried in my right cheek was at first missed, and then misdiagnosed in its severity. Clark’s stage IV, they told me. Likely in my lymph nodes, but they wouldn’t know until my third surgery, the excision and biopsy.
I was coming out of a dry period in my writing. I had hardly written in the previous year since my brother’s death from complications arising from a rare genetic disorder. When I went back to the page, I couldn’t go back to it as I’d been there before, but I felt I must go back. I had something to say, and what if I didn’t have long to say it?
What If became my muse.
The poems became fragmented, full of white space. I broke lines unexpectedly, at least for me. Out of tune, out of sync/syntax. I revised through redaction, cuts, excisions. Everything seemed relevant and connected, even as everything seemed disjointed. Separate.
TWO READINGS IN THE NEXT WEEK: CHICAGO AND DC
April 2016—Coming up Saturday and Monday I’m reading in Chicago and the Washington, DC area. Check out the Readings & Events page for more details.
REVIEW OF BOY WITH THORN BY RICKEY LAURENTIIS
April 2016—Many thanks to Ron Slate for inviting me to talk about Boy with Thorn (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) by Rickey Laurentiis for the Poets Recommend feature on On the Seawall. Here’s the full line up of reviews in this installment:
- Lisa Russ Spaar on Honest Engine: Poems by Kyle Dargan (University of Georgia Press)
- Joyce Peseroff on Forbidden City by Gail Mazur (University of Chicago Press)
- Evie Shockley on Olio by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)
- Jennifer Chang on River House by Sally Keith (Milkweed Editions)
- Kathleen Ossip on Notes on a Past Life by David Trinidad (BlazeVOX)
- Erin Belieu on Reconnaissance by Carl Phillips (Farrar Straus Giroux) and Smote by James Kimbrell (Sarabande Books)
- Dean Rader on LETTERRS by Orlando White (Nightboat Books)
- Sally Ball on Let’s Let That Are Not Yet: INFERNO by Ed Pavlić (Fence Books)
- Amanda Nadelberg on Primitive State by Anselm Berrigan (Edge Books)
- Emilia Phillips on Boy with Thorn by Rickey Laurentiis (University of Pittsburgh Press)
- Paula Bohince on Deep Lane by Mark Doty (W.W. Norton)
WORKING ON ERASURE OF CALVINO’S INVISIBLE CITIES
April 2016—I’m now working on erasures of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Here are some of the pages, blacked out with chalkboard paint.
POEM AND GUEST EDITOR PROFILES IN SPRING 2016 ISSUE OF PLOUGHSHARES
April 2016—Many thanks to Alan Shapiro and Tom Sleigh for including my poem “Static, Frequency” in the new issue of Ploughshares. Thanks also to the editors for asking me to write the guest editor profiles for Shapiro and Sleigh.
“BERTILLON: TAILLE” A PART OF THE NATIONAL POETRY MONTH VIDEO PROJECT
April 2016—Many thanks to Minnesota State University Mankato and Good Thunder Reading Series for including me in their National Poetry Month video project, and thank you to Rae Frame for reading my persona poem “Bertillon: Taille” in the video.
ESSAY ON TEACHING RANKINE’S CITIZEN ON SOUTHERN HUMANITIES REVIEW
April 2016—Many thanks to editor Keetje Kuipers and managing editor Aaron Alford for including my essay “The Pedagogy of Listening: Citizen as Required Reading, Rankine Required Reader” in Southern Humanities Review’s Teaching Citizen feature.
GROUNDSPEED GETTING AROUND
March 2016—Thanks to everyone who’s sent pictures of their copies of Groundspeed! I’ve included photos by Tomás Morín, Corey van Landingham, Caitlin Doyle, and Jon Muñoz below. If you have a copy of Groundspeed, post it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #Groundspeed!
ACCEPTED TO “DIGITIZING THE CULTURAL RECORD” RARE BOOK SCHOOL CLASS
March 2016—After applying for a couple of years, I finally got into a week-long, summer class from the Rare Book School; this June, I’ll be taking “Digitizing the Cultural Record” with instructors Bethany Nowviskie and Andrew Stauffer. For the class, I will be working on a digitization project, and I’ve decided that I would like to digitize out-of-print, letterpress broadsides for a free digital archive of some sort. Although I’m still sorting out the details, I will soon contact small, boutique, and basement presses to ask if they would like to participate in the project by donating or lending broadsides.
“THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE IMAGINATION: TOWARD A DEFINITION” NOW ON THE PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
March 2016—My little essay “The Autobiography of the Imagination: Toward a Definition” is now live over on the Ploughshares blog:
The autobiography of the imagination writes itself, one could say. It writes every time we write, every time we dream or daydream. It is its own captain’s log, the transaction and receipt. It reveals the self to make the self into a stranger, twisting the I to wring out a you.
This is my second post for Ploughshares, and I have the great luck of getting to do nine more, one for every month remaining this year. The journal runs an excellent blog, with a slew of awesome guest bloggers. Many thanks to Ellen Duffer and Amelia Hassani for all their work.
HOLLOW POINT AND SUMMER PLANS
March 2016—As I round the corner on a near-final (I think) draft of my third poetry collection Hollow Point, I intend to turn to my lyric essay collection in early summer. By late summer, I hope to turn back to poems, with a particular focus on exploring an erasure project, now separate from the third book project, with Emilia (de Othello) and other women victimized by Shakespeare’s male “heroes” at the center, and I have registered for Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s workshop “In the Poem Lab: Experimentation, Contemplation, Collaboration & New Poems” at the Provincetown Fine Arts Works Center scheduled from July 17 (happy birthday to me!) to July 22, 2016. My hope is that the space will allow me to write outside of any kind of particular project or aim, and I hope that the generative immersion will renew me after finalizing the third book and working on the lyric essay and erasure projects.
In addition to these creative projects, I’ve also applied for the “Digitizing the Cultural Record” class at the Rare Book School with the hope of pursuing a digitization project of out-of-print letterpress broadsides for a digital archive. Fingers crossed for me that I’ll be accepted into the class!
BOOK RELEASE READING AT CENTENARY COLLEGE
March 2016—Thanks to English & Foreign Languages Department Chair Sharon Decker for organizing an incredible book release event; thanks also to my colleague Pat Maley (pictured) for a wonderful introduction, and to Tim Domick, Taylor Memorial Library director, for hosting the event. Thanks to the bookstore as well—we sold out of copies after the reading! Plus, there was cake and wine. What night could be better?
THREE POEMS ON THE COLLAPSAR
March 2016—My poems about that old website Faces of Death & my gun dread; high school bulimia; & the previous tenant at our rental in Gettysburg are hanging out over on The Collapsar! Thanks to Lena Moses-Schmitt for saying yes to these poems; they appear in my in-progress third manuscript.
GROUNDSPEED PUBLICATION DAY
March 2016—It’s March 15th, so that means Groundspeed is officially out and in the world today! Many thanks to my fabulous editor Mary Biddinger, designer Amy Freels, and the rest of the University of Akron Press staff for their amazing work to make this book possible.
AUDIO OF WRNJ INTERVIEW ABOUT GROUNDSPEED NOW AVAILABLE
March 2016—Tom O’Halloran, host of the local radio program Inside Centenary, interviewed me last week about my poetry, my second poetry collection Groundspeed, the upcoming book release reading on March 16th, and Centenary’s creative writing program. The audio is now available to stream and download here.
INTERVIEWS FROM FEBRUARY 2013–FEBRUARY 2016 ON 32 POEMS
February 2016—All of the interviews with poets I conducted from February 2013–February 2016 are now available under the “Interviews with Emilia Phillips” category on the 32 Poems blog.
INTERVIEW WITH CARMEN GIMÉNEZ SMITH ON 32 POEMS
February 2016—For the latest (and my last) interview on 32 Poems Carmen Giménez Smith talks about testimonios, an autobiography of feminism, poetry as a place in flux:
I’ve tried being a thinkier poet, a poet with more air and clouds and logic, but I love chaos and not-knowing in poetry. I’m rooted in the body, so I write for a human voice.
Many thanks to Carmen and all the poets who have met me on the page in conversation—you have made my world richer. I’m so grateful to David Clark for approaching me back in late 2012 and asking me to run an online prose feature; thanks also to Cate Lycurgus for taking over the series—I know you’ll be amazing; and love to all of you for following the series from February 2013 to February 2016.
AWP WRITER TO WRITER MENTOR AND MENTEE PROFILES
February 2016–AWP has posted the 2016 mentor and mentee profiles. I am working with the awesome poet Ann DeVilbiss. To find out more about her and her work, check out her profile.
February 2016–My second collection Groundspeed, officially due out on March 15th, arrived today at my house! Help me welcome it into the world! Preorder the collection through the University of Akron Press.
TWO POEMS APPEAR IN MEMORIOUS
Feburary 2016—My poems “Overpass” and “Nocturne, Lamar’s Chrystal Lounge,” which appear in my third manuscript Hollow Point, appear in Memorious 25. Many thanks to editor Rebecca Morgan Frank for including me alongside some great work by Dilruba Ahmed, Jill McDonough, Maggie Smith-Beehler, and others!
TWO POEMS APPEAR IN CHERRY TREE DEDICATED TO CLAUDIA EMERSON
February 2016—My poems “Apostrophe in Oregon Hill” and “Denouement,” which appear in my third manuscript Hollow Point, appear in Cherry Tree 2. Many thanks to editors James Allen Hall, Jehanne Dubrow, and Lindsay Lusby for making such a beautiful journal and for the dedication of the issue to Claudia Emerson. We were able to place Claudia’s poem “Child of the Desolate” from an unpublished manuscript titled Claude Before Time and Space in the issue as well, and it appears as the first piece in the issue. The issue also features work by Rick Barot, Keetje Kuipers, Rebecca Mogan Frank, sam sax, Matthew Olzmann, Vievee Francis, Lesley Wheeler, and others.
ESSAY “EXCISIONS” APPEARS IN NEW STORYQUARTERLY
February 2016—My essay “Excisions,” selected by Leslie Jamison as the winner of the 2015 StoryQuarterly Nonfiction Prize, appears in StoryQuarterly 49. Many thanks to Leslie Jamison, editor Paul Lisicky, and the rest of the staff. The issue also features Jenny Boully, Garth Greenwell, Kelle Groom, Mat Johnson, Rachel Yoder, and others!
AWP’S WRITER TO WRITER MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
February 2016—This week I started working with a wonderful poet named Ann DeVilbiss as her mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Mentorship program, and I have to say, what an incredible resource. I’m looking forward to the conversation and exchange with Ann.
ESSAY “ON AND OF THE PAGE: THE LIFE–ART COLLAPSE” NOW ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
February 2016—“On and Of the Page: The Life–Art Collapse,” my first Ploughshares blog post, considers the ethics and etiquette of the life/art collapse, including those sticky moments when a reader or audience member asks a poet personal questions based on poetic content as well as those occasions when someone reacts in conversation with “Have you written about that?”
Many thanks to Nick Lantz, Todd Kaneko, Pamela Johnson Parker, Trenna Sharpe, and Shara Lessley for contributing to the discussion. Here’s an excerpt:
Individuals eager to connect the dots between a poet’s life and their work should remember that these suggestions and liberties could impact the poet negatively. The very thought of writing about certain topics or discussing their poems’ subject matter could trigger anxieties, or worse. A good rule of thumb, then, would be to keep poems as poems and people as people, unless the poet explicitly invites the conversation.
“WITNESS AS LISTENING: AN INTERVIEW WITH OLIVER BENDORF” NOW ON 32 POEMS
February 2016—Oliver Bendorf, brilliant as always, talks “the wilderness inside a person,” “quantum humanities,” ghosts, listening, witness, and more in this interview I did with him for 32 Poems:
The muse may be at your side, but the ghost is inside of you.
INTERVIEW NOW APPEARS ON LIGHTBOX POETRY
February 2016—Here I go again conflating the body with poems, now in an interview over on Lightbox Poetry. Many thanks to Richie Hofmann and Kara van de Graaf for this wonderful interview.
In my poems, that’s exactly what I want to create: a land on which to walk and a body to do the walking.
“PORTRAIT OF A PRESS: THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON SERIES IN POETRY” APPEARS ON LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS
January 2016—My pressmate Philip Metres profiles University of Akron Press, its closure & reopening last year, as well as its authors and staff, on Los Angeles Review of Books.
What happened between these two events is a story as much about literary and political activism against the forces of neoliberal corporatization as it is about a university press and its cherished poetry series.
“UNTETHERED FROM PRODUCT OR OBJECT: AN INTERVIEW WITH DIANE SEUSS” NOW UP ON 32 POEMS
January 2016—Diane Seuss gave me a doozy of an interview! We discuss “poetic structure born of ancestral memory,” the desire for poetry, and her latest poetry collection Four-Legged Girl, among other things, over on 32 Poems. Here’s just a crumb of the bread, from Diane:
The desire for poetry is not merely about writing it. Writing it is one symptom of desire, but poetry’s purposes are grander than that. Maybe poetry is not about a desire for something, but is desire itself, untethered from product or object.
TWO POEMS IN VINYL
January 2016—Many thanks to Vinyl Poetry for including my two poems “The Episode of Cops In Which MY Father Appears” and “Roadside America” in a feature with poetry editor Phillip B. Williams’s interview with me. These two poems appear in Groundspeed, forthcoming from the University of Akron Press in March.
I want poetry to come from truth-telling lies as much as my autobiographical experience, but I think that a reader can’t necessarily approach the reading of a poem or a poetry collection with the idea that they are going to sift out the “facts” from the fictions. If it’s in a poem, it is both a fact and a fiction: solid and liquid at once.
“THE WORMY COMPOST: AN INTERVIEW WITH REBECCA GAYLE HOWELL” APPEARS ON 32 POEMS
January 2016—Many thanks to Rebecca Gayle Howell for letting me interview her at 32 Poems. She writes:
One measure of my current life is that I write books I hope speak beyond the AWP crowd. My dear friend, the poet Ada Limón, and I have been in recent conversation about the word “accessible,” which is often thrown as an insult, but she thinks, and I agree, is anything but. I receive letters from Render’s readers, commonly from farmers and cooks, and those letters mean everything to me. I am a member of the working class; I started working in my parents’ diner when I was eight years old. Nikky Finney tells her students (of which I am one) “Don’t leave your people behind.”
“THE DAYS THAT WERE HAVE NOW” ONLINE AT BOSTON REVIEW
January 2016—My poem “The days that were have now” is now available online at Boston Review, in addition to its latest print issue. The poem came about from thinking about digital surveillance, spam subject lines, and the teenage girl who crashed her car into the tree outside my childhood bedroom window.
TWO ERASURES APPEAR IN HOUND
January 2016—“What Noise Is This?” and “Nay, Lay Thee Down and Roar,” two erasures intended as the choral voice of the two victimized women (including my namesake Emilia) from Othello, appear in the new issue of Hound. Many thanks to editor Danielle Susi for including these poems, and congratulations on the issue!
FINAL COVER OF GROUNDSPEED
January 2016—Amy Freels, designer at the University of Akron Press, has finalized the cover of my forthcoming, second collection Groundspeed, due out in March 2016. The cover features original artwork by Hollie Chastain and blurbs by Dana Levin, Kathleen Graber, and Nicky Beer.
“THE DAYS THAT WERE HAVE NOW” APPEARS IN BOSTON REVIEW
December 2015—Many thanks to Timothy Donnelly for including my poem “The days that were have now” in the January/February 2016 issue of Boston Review!
ESSAY ON AGNI’S BLOG IS A TOP POST OF 2015
December 2015—My essay “All the Deceits of the World: Poetry and Spirituality” was the fourth most viewed post on Agni’s blog. To see the top five posts, visit “2015: Looking Back.”
INTERVIEW NOW UP AT FRONT PORCH
December 2015—Many thanks for Meg E. Griffits for interviewing me about my forthcoming book Groundspeed, due out in March 2016 from the University of Akron Press. The interview is available in issue 31 of Front Porch; here’s an excerpt of our conversation:
FP: In Groundspeed, I noticed the variety of forms you employ. How do you unearth the right form for a poem? Can you talk about your personal philosophy on the role of form in your work?
EP: A hard question, mostly because form, for me, is not something I often set out to craft. I never landscape my poems. I never think, I’ll plant this here and this here and this here. The poems are largely fragmented because I felt fragmented after my surgery. With this book at least, the poems became kind of visualizations of my internal life.
INTERVIEW NOW UP AT 30 NORTH
November 2015—Many thanks to Brittany Nawara and faculty adviser Rebecca Hazelton for inviting me to talk mythology, process, and generosity in this interview on 30 North.
WALK THE LINE: A POETRY WORKSHOP AND LECTURE ON WRITING ABOUT THE BODY AT TINKER MOUNTAIN WRITERS’ WORKSHOP 2016
November 2015—Next summer I will return to the Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop to teach Walk the Line: A Poetry Workshop; here’s the description:
Walk the Line: A Poetry Workshop
Instructor: Emilia Phillips, all levels
Recent poetry Guggenheim recipient Ellen Bryant Voigt writes, “W.H. Auden said it is ‘a sheer waste of time to look for a definition of the difference between poetry and prose’….Yet differences between lyric and narrative seem exactly relevant-if only one could be confident what they are.” In this poetry workshop, participants will address the intersections of prose in poetry, the narrative in the lyric; we will examine the balance between the sentence and the line and explore strategies for revealing subtext through sound. In addition to discussing participants’ poems, the workshop will feature generative writing exercises meant to shake up writing habits and language orientations. All levels of poets are welcome, including prose writers who are interested in cultivating music in their sentences and image in their narratives.
I will also give a lecture on writing about the body. There are lots of great courses available at the conference, which takes place June 12–17, 2016 at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. To see the full course list, please visit the TMWW Workshop Descriptions page.
SHOUT OUT IN NOVEMBER 2015 KENYON REVIEW PODCAST
November 2015—Thanks to Maggie Smith on the November 2015 Kenyon Reviews podcast for mentioning me alongside Corey Van Landingham, Nick Lantz, and Ryan Teitman as early-career poets in which she’s interested. Smith also talks about her own writing and editorial process. (The mention appears around minute 25:00.)
“SAUL BASS REDESIGNS THE FIRST MAN” IS ON THE POETRY FOUNDATION’S POEM A DAY PODCAST
November 2015—“Saul Bass Redesigns the First Man,” which appeared in the December 2013 issue of Poetry, appeared on the Poetry Foundation’s Poem a Day Podcast on November 16, 2015.
HOME NEWS TRIBUNE ON STORYQUARTERLY NONFICTION PRIZE
November 2015—Many thanks to the newspaper Home News Tribune out of East Brunswick, New Jersey for reporting on the award bestowed by StoryQuarterly on my essay “Excisions.”.
A DARKENING TRAPEZE: LAST POEMS BY LARRY LEVIS SOON OUT FROM GRAYWOLF PRESS
November 2015—In my final year of grad school, I got to type up the manuscript of The Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems by Larry Levis from photocopies and check some of the poems against drafts in the Levis archives. It was an amazing experience—thank you, David St. John!—and it’s even more amazing to see this as a book, soon out from Graywolf Press! To pre-order the collection, due out in January 2016, visit its page on Graywolf’s site.
READING RECOMMENDATIONS BY NOVEMBER 2015 CONTRIBUTORS OF POETRY
November 2015—Harriet has included reading recommendations by Poetry magazine’s November 2015 contributors. I recommend books I’m teaching in my Spring 2016 poetry classes.
ESSAY “ALL THE DECEITS OF THE WORLD: POETRY AND SPIRITUALITY” APPEARS ON AGNI’S BLOG
November 2015—Thanks to David Ebenbach for including my essay “All the Deceits of the World: Poetry and Spirituality” on The Agni Blog. Here’s an excerpt:
Poetry, like the car ride with one’s head out the window, can offer the bewilderment of motion, vagary, and noise. The poetry of bewilderment appeals to the senses to allow the self to be unconscious of the senses—that is, the known. I’m most aware of my senses (“the deceits of the world, the flesh”) when those senses are overloaded—as they are with pain, blinding light, or deafening noise—or when they are not appealed to—as happens in a dark room when I can’t see or when I have a stuffy nose and can’t smell. For poetry to bewilder, and therefore become a spiritual engagement, it must balance meaning (utterance), silence (the ineffable), and sound (the senses).
“DREAM OF THE PHONE BOOTH” FROM NOVEMBER 2015 ISSUE OF POETRY NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE
November 2015—The November 2015 issue of Poetry, including my poem “Dream of the Phone Booth,” is now available online.
“DREAM OF THE PHONE BOOTH” APPEARS IN NOVEMBER 2015 ISSUE OF POETRY
October 2015—My poem “Dream of the Phone Booth” appears in the new issue of Poetry. Many thanks to Don Share and the rest of the magazine’s editorial staff for their inclusion of my poem. The poem will be available online soon.
BLOG POST MENTIONED IN ESSAY ON WORKSHOP
October 2015—Hats off to R.A. Villanueva for mentioning my teaching handout and blog post “On Writing Poems, Workshop, and Reading Like a Writer” on Gulf Coast‘s blog for his essay “More Wreck and Less Discourse.”
INTERVIEW WITH SARA ELIZA JOHNSON APPEARS IN 32 POEMS
October 2015— Sara Eliza Johnson, poet and author of Bone Map (2014), sat down across time and space with 32 Poems interviews editor Emilia Phillips to talk about images living in the eye; the push and pull of agency and escapism; frightening oneself with one’s own poems; Joyelle’s McSweeney’s idea of the necropastoral; and minute gestures rendering cataclysmic change. Here’s a little of what Johnson had to say:
I see the poem as a site of metamorphosis, yes, but violently so (in the Ovidian sense): transformation as cataclysm, even apocalypse—as evidence of perpetual and pervasive volatility. It is transformation as the end of a moment, of a state of being, of a world, underlining the instability (and combustibility) of mind and memory and body. I think my poems are invested in the old sublimity, in that sense—that simultaneous experience of pleasure and terror in the face of magnificent force, which alters the mechanisms of the brain, the way we process the world forever after our encounter with it.
Visit the 32 Poems blog to read the rest of “The Old Sublimity: An Interview with Sara Eliza Johnson,” and enjoy!
CLAUDIA EMERSON’S POEMS AND AN INTRODUCTION IN WAXWING
October 2015—Earlier this year, Kent Ippolito, Claudia Emerson’s husband, asked if I would help send out the poems in her last completed manuscript, Claude Before Time and Space. Those poems have appeared in several journals already:
Three poems—“Swimming Alone,” “The Wheel,” and “Pre-Algebra, 1970”—were published in the new issue of Waxwing. The editors asked me to write a brief introduction to these three poems and the manuscript.
CENTENARY COLLEGE PRESS RELEASE ABOUT 2015 STORYQUARTERLY NONFICTION PRIZE
October 2015—Thanks to Centenary College for their kind write up about my essay “Excisions” winning StoryQuarterly‘s 2015 Nonfiction Prize.
Hackettstown, N.J. – Centenary College Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Emilia Phillips, was awarded the 2015 second annual Nonfiction Prize from StoryQuarterly, the Literary Magazine at Rutgers–Camden for her essay “Excisions,” which focuses on excisive and reconstructive surgeries of her face in the wake of cancer.
To read more, visit Centenary’s News & Announcements.
GROUNDSPEED MENTIONED IN POETRY MAGAZINE’S OCTOBER 2015 READING LIST
October 2015—Many thanks to Tomás Morín for this blurb about Groundspeed, my forthcoming second book, in the October 2015 Reading List from Poetry:
Groundspeed, a collection forthcoming in 2016 from Emilia Phillips, fulfills the promise of her first book. The poems in Groundspeed have all the energy of a rollercoaster. When you finish this book, you immediately want to return to the first page for another ride.
POEM “DREAM OF THE PHONE BOOTH” OUT SOON IN THE NOVEMBER 2015 ISSUE OF POETRY
September 2015—Poetry editor Don Share posted a photo of the magazine’s November 2015 table of contents. The issue contains my poem “Dream of the Phone Booth.” Stay tuned for the print and online issues!
LYRIC ESSAY “EXCISIONS” SELECTED BY LESLIE JAMISON AS THE WINNER OF STORYQUARTERLY‘S 2015 NONFICTION PRIZE
September 2015—I have so much gratitude for judge Leslie Jamison and editor Paul Lisicky for selecting of my lyric essay “Excisions” for StoryQuarterly‘s 2015 Nonfiction Prize. This essay on the excisions of my cheek and reconstructive surgery is the most personal of the essays I’ve written. I’m so glad for it to have found a home, especially one in a literary journal out of my new home of New Jersey. “Excisions” will be publishined in the journal’s January 2016 issue. Congratulations also to runners up Rachel Yoder and Drew Krepp; I look forward to reading your pieces soon!
Additionally, they asked me to record the poem, and audio of my reading the poem is available through the Academy and Soundcloud.
BENEATH THE ICE FISH LIKE SOULS LOOK ALIKE REVIEWED IN AMERICAN MICROREVIEWS
September 2015—Many thanks to Brandon Amico for his fine and flattering review of my chapbook Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike:
Beneath the Ice…, if nothing else (though it is a lot else), is a showcase for the power of detail in verse, how a skilled poet can tell a story without an overt narrative framework and its usual devices. Nearly every line is intensely visual, and presented in a matter-of-fact voice, and most pages contain only four lines, with ample spacing between not unlike snow. This bare white space invites the reader to color in the story from the context, with moments that are so vivid and well-executed that they cannot help but intrude, disturb, and . . . insist
GROUNDSPEED IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON PRESS
August 2015—You can now pre-order Groundspeed, due out in March 2015, from The University of Akron Press.
GROUNDSPEED IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON
August 2015—You can now pre-order Groundspeed, due out from the University of Akron Press in March 2016, on Amazon.
“CARBON BASED: AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID TOMAS MARTINEZ” BY EMILIA PHILLIPS IS THE 32 POEMS PROSE FEATURE
August 2015—Thanks to David Tomas Martinez for joining the conversation over on 32 Poems. Here’s a preview of what he has to say:
I am one obstinate mofo. I have an idea of the smell and sleekness of a poem, at least the poem I am trying to create at the moment because my idea of a ‘good’ poem is constantly in flux. I try to never successfully recreate this idea of the platonically ideal perfect poem. What a fool’s task. But once in awhile I am saved by someone else’s poem. There is nothing better than reading a poem that I think shouldn’t work but does, often inexplicably. These mysteriously healthy poems only highlight my dysfunctional writing, my broken writing. And that is the conundrum, as fixated and self-involved I can be with my own poems and problems; it is the work of other writers that pushes me on, helps me persist.
2015 RUTH LILLY AND DOROTHY SARGENT ROSENBERG FELLOWSHIP FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
August 2015—I’m heart-poundingly thrilled to be one of eighteen finalists for the Poetry Foundation’s 2015 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowships. The finalists are listed below, and the recipients will be announced September 1st. Congratulations to the other finalists, and thanks to the Poetry Foundation and Poetry for their generosity and support!
EMILIA PHILLIPS APPEARS ON PODCAST WRITTEN IN SMALL SPACES TO DISCUSS UNIVERSITY OF AKRON PRESS
August 2015—Ian Bodkin invited me on Written in Small Spaces to talk about the layoffs at my publisher The University of Akron Press and the future of my forthcoming book Groundspeed. Thanks to Ian for including me in this episode:
Episode 26: A Grand Movement of the Mind and #SaveUAkronPressStaff
On this episode we begin with a call to friend of the show, Poet Emilia Phillips, where fills us in on some unfortunate events that have taken place with University of Akron Press and the University’s President Scott Scarborough. Then in the regular show we turn the podcast over to newly appointed and devastatingly brilliant, coconspirator, co-pilot across the sonic inter webs of space, time and words, co host extraordinaire Tatiana Ryckman! Tatiana sits down with writers John Proctor and Kate Senecal at the Young’s Residency and discuss finding space to write, the grand movements of the mind, 80s movies, the allowance of bad writing and creating the space of possibility for the written word. Several links follow also for where you can sign the petition and also let President Scarborough know what you think of his recent decision. So simmer down, keep it up, relax, let your voice be heard and give us a listen.
DORA MALECH’S “NOT AN ELEGY FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON PRESS” ON THE KENYON REVIEW
July 2015—Dora Malech provides some insightful commentary about the layoffs at my publisher the University of Akron Press over on The Kenyon Review‘s blog:
We are still writing and revising the fate of The University of Akron Press. I say “we,” since the voices that matter to me are the voices of the poets, editors, and designers who make the literary landscape a place worth inhabiting. These are the voices that matter to me because they have earned my trust through their words and their work, using the power of the page to touch my life in meaningful ways, far beyond the physical location of Akron. These are, unfortunately, not the loudest or most powerful voices in our current cultural climate, as evidenced by the sweeping budget and job cuts that unceremoniously shut down The University of Akron Press earlier this week. More recent clarifications state that “the press” itself will not be shut down entirely, but will be “transferred to the Division of Libraries.” Whatever this actually means in practical terms, what is a press without its editors, its staff, its expertise, its resources, and its vision? And what is a university, if not a place that supports intellectual and creative growth and community?
Malech also provides a space for the voices of former Akron Poetry Series editor Mary Biddinger, designer Amy Freels, Cleveland State Poetry Center Director Caryl Pagel, and some of the authors/editors of the Press’s books/anthologies, including Rebecca Hazelton, Brittany Cavallaro, Steve Kistulentz, and me. Malech also reminds everyone what we can do to show our support of the University of Akron Press:
What you can do to make your voice heard:
- Sign and share the Change.org petition “Restore Funding for University of Akron Press”
- Tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #SaveUAkronPress
- Write to the University of Akron Board at BoardOffice@uakron.edu
- Write to University President Scott Scarborough at email@example.com, or tweet @PresScarborough
- Buy books from the University of Akron Press (I, of course, love the Akron Series in Poetry & Poetics and the Akron Poetry Prize offerings)
- Blog about the situation and use social media to share poems by UA Press authors
From Emilia Phillips’s “Groundspeed”: “Whatever crashes downwards, sends praise back up… // A transference of energy–” . . . “A body / can, like a sympathetic string, ring with another’s / peril.”
Let’s keep sending praise. Let’s keep ringing.
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON PRESS’S STATEMENT ABOUT THEIR FUTURE
July 2015—The University of Akron Press released this statement on their website:
The future of The UA Press
The operations of University Press are being transferred to the Division of Libraries, where the director will work with the interim dean of Libraries and the Provost to assess UA Press operations and to recommend priorities going forward.
It is anticipated that books under contract will be completed. Proposals under review or consideration for publication will be evaluated.
Posted July 30, 2015
ON THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON AND THE FUTURE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON PRESS
July 2015—Earlier this week, the University of Akron laid off the entire staff of my publisher the University of Akron Press and, at least for a day, shut down the press entirely. After some backpeddaling, the press will remain open under the auspices of the university’s library but without any known staff. The future of my second poetry collection Groundspeed is uncertain, and without a staff I am concerned about how the University intends to handle and support the book.
Several news outlets and organizations have covered the events unfolding at the University of Akron:
- “University of Akron Press in Limbo” by Claire Kirch at Publisher’s Weekly
- “AAUP Responds to University of Akron Press Announcement” on the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) website
- “The University of Akron to Close Its University Press and Multicultural Center Due to Budget Shortfall” on AWP’s The Writer’s News
VCU MFA ALUMNI HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2015
July 2015—VCU’s MFA in Creative Writing Program released their 2015 alumni highlights on their blog. Included in the list are accomplishments by Tarfia Faizullah, Lynda Fleet-Perry, Gregory Kimbrell, Lea Marshall, Emilia Phillips, Joshua Poteat, Dale Smith, Patty Smith, and others.
“DOUBLE LIFE: AN INTERVIEW WITH SARAH BLAKE” IS THE 32 POEMS PROSE FEATURE
July 2015—My interview with Sarah Blake is the 32 Poems Prose Feature. In this feature, Blake talks about her first book Mr. West, silence and redaction, sections vs. series, and more. Here’s an excerpt:
SARAH BLAKE: I am shocked I wrote a whole book about Kanye for a few reasons. I’m surprised I went from liking his music to being a superfan that knows way more about his life and his work than is normal. I’m surprised I’ve positioned myself as an expert of sorts and now in interviews I’m asked not just about my book but for opinions on Kanye. I’m also surprised I’ve positioned myself as a pop culture writer. And really this is just general surprise at the success of the book—I wrote it, I found a press for it, it exists now as an object and also as my first book, my debut, the start of my career, officially, which means it is doing the entirety of the work to define who I am as a writer right now. I’m surprised that the little girl that was near silent in school for a good ten years is now an outspoken pop culture writer. The book is so much about the public vs. the private, but I’m feeling that divide in my life for the first time. My identity as author of Mr. West doesn’t totally align with my identity at home. I think that’s where most of the shock is coming from.
SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2015 JAMES RIVER WRITERS CONFERENCE
July 2015—The speakers for the 2015 JRW Conference in Richmond, Virginia have been announced. As one of the featured speakers, I will participate in panels, the topics and times of which will be available in the near feature. Register and find out more information about this year’s conference on the JRW website.
POETS ON GROWTH ANTHOLOGY RELEASED
July 2015—Congrats to editors Peter LaBerge and Talin Tahajian on their fine anthology Poets On Growth: An Anthology of Poetry of Craft just released from Math Paper Press, and many thanks to them for including a few of my poems and an essay. The anthology features original essays and poetry by Richard Siken, Caroline Crew, Timothy Liu, Sandy Longhorn, Joseph Chapman, Rachel Mennies, D. Gilson, Wendy Barker, Phillip B. Williams, Angela Voras-Hills, Sean Patrick Hill, Ruth Awad, Wesley Rothman, Laura Eve Engel, Tasha Cotter, Jing-Jing Lee, Lisa Hiton, Bruce Bond, Claudia Cortese, Emilia Phillips, Matthew Nienow, and Ocean Vuong. Explore and buy the anthology online.
PAGE FOR GROUNDSPEED NOW AVAILABLE
July 2015—An information page for Groundspeed is now available under “Books.” This page features the book’s cover, jacket copy, and links to excerpts online.
COVER DESIGN OF GROUNDSPEED APPROVED
July 2015—The University of Akron Press approved the cover design of my second poetry collection, Groundspeed. Many thanks to designer Amy Freels and collage artist Hollie Chastain for the original design and artwork!
RESPONSE ANTHOLOGY BY DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES ON THE RS 500
June 2015—Many thanks to Brad Efford and The RS 500 for publishing my prose poem/lyric essay response to the music of Diana Ross & The Supremes. An excerpt:
My mother carries me in body-warm blankets to Vivian Volvo to doze in the backseat, blood hourglassing to my skull as the car careens in the ridgecut’s curve illuminated in the streetlights’ arched, interval orange as the unbalanced tires warp out the black sea on which my breathing rowboats. Burning, burning yearning… Whatever voice from the waking world penetrates a dream is a kind of a god. I have learned to pray, Deus ex cassette tape. Sugar’s Ribs neons on the dark ridge like the expectation of tomorrow’s heat as the brakes scuff and ache time to a slower pace. At the exit ramp’s red light, no traffic passes and yet we wait. He has called her, his wants stamped by Percocet, and asked her to come, and so she goes.
Middle of the night, middle of the summer, I always wait in the car, asleep, not asleep, on these errands, something easy, Motown, in the deck, the whir of the tape as it spools and unspools, not unlike memory, and not like it.
A-side. B-side. A dark figure approached the car. I tensed.
READING BY PETER TAYLOR FELLOWS AT THE KENYON REVIEW WRITERS WORKSHOP ON SUNDAY, JUNE 14TH
June 2015—I’m reading among the other Peter Taylor Fellows at this year’s Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop. For more information, visit the conference website.
TINKER MOUNTAIN WRITERS’ WORKSHOP STARTS TODAY, JUNE 7TH
June 2015—This afternoon I’m heading down to the Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia to teach a five-day, poetry workshop! I’ve got four students this year, and we’re going to do a lot of writing together. For more information about the TMWW, please visit their website.
LYRIC ESSAY “REMAINS” APPEARS IN NEW ISSUE OF NINTH LETTER
May 2015—Many thanks to the editors of Ninth Letter for publishing my lyric essay “Remains” in their 12.1 issue! To order the issue, please go to their Current Issue page. Thanks also to editor Sara Fan for providing the second photo below.
SHIPPING OF 35-PRINT RUN OF CLAUDIA EMERSON’S “I” BROADSIDE
May 2015—On Tuesday May 5, I completed a second run of the broadside featuring Claudia Emerson’s poem “I.” This run was completed on a 1907 Chandler & Price platen price with Pantone 433-colored, oil-based ink at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.
I’m selling these broadsides for $10 (+$3 shipping), and I will donate the sales proceeds to VCU College of Humanities & Social Science’s Claudia Emerson Memorial Scholarship Fund. As on Saturday, May 9th, I’ve started shipping orders.
RECEIVED CERTIFICATE IN GRANT WRITING & MANAGEMENT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND
May 2015—After a week-long intensive, I earned a certificate in grant writing & management from The University of Richmond’s School of Professional & Continuing Studies!
SIGNALETICS REVIEWED IN THE TUSCULUM REVIEW
May 2015—Many thanks to Matthew Pierce for his tender and incisive review of Signaletics (University of Akron Press, 2013). Here’s a little of what he had to say:
Phillips’s poems often explore trackless, murky spaces that any reader has at one time or another crawled through on their own. Her poetry, evoking a kind of emotional synesthesia, remains crisply defined and illuminated by tremendous clarity of voice and image. . . . Phillips has a remarkable capacity for edging us closer to the utter distance between ourselves and others, even those we love, without anxiety and with a sense of warmth and, at least, the possibility of presence.
FINALIST FOR THE WISCONSIN INSTITUTE FOR CREATIVE WRITING FELLOWSHIPS
May 2015—Wisconsin named its 2015–2016 Creative Writing Fellows & Finalists. I’m honored to be among the finalists. Congratulations to poetry fellows Karyna McGlynn, Mark Wagenaar, and Josh Kalscheur, and to the finalists! Here’s Wisconsin’s official finalist announcement:
This year’s finalists in poetry were Neil Aitkin, Julia Bouwsma, Michael Dauro, Meg Day, Dante Di Stefano, Miranda Field, Brandi George, Patrick Johnson, Sara Eliza Johnson, Victoria Kornick, Nate Marshall, Matt Morton, Emilia Phillips, Jordan Rice, Brandon Som, Corey Van Landingham, Laura Wetherington, Javier Zamora, and Nikki Zielinski.
FEATURED ON “FROM THE DESK OF” BLOG SERIES
May 2015—Erin Dorney kindly asked me to contribute a photo of my desk and a 100-word description of one item on that desk; I chose my lamp. To see the feature, go to Real Pants. In the mean time, here’s the photo of my desk.
PHOTOS OF TWO POEMS IN AGNI 81
May 2015—To order AGNI 81, in which “Stopping at Texaco a Year After My Brother’s Death” and “The Wind Lends a Voice to the Mountain Laurel Above Pretty Polly’s Grave,” please visit AGNI‘s website.
THREE POEMS AND A LYRIC ESSAY APPEAR IN BLACKBIRD
May 2015—Thank you to the Blackbird editors for their generous and ongoing support. In their v14n1 issue, they’ve published three poems from Groundspeed: “Pastoral (Future Interstate),” “Pastoral (Radio),” and “Pastoral (With One’s Head Out the Car Window)”.
In the foreword, the editors write about “Lodge,” my lyric essay in the issue:
Emilia Phillips catalogs and maps, reporting from recent travels how “seagulls land and become a landscape over a landscape, as snow does: a contour line, a living topography.” Suspicious of the flipped script our “similes / of nature” seem to follow now, of how trees get figured as “telephone poles,” and a “wingspan, a hanging up receiver,” Phillips subtly enjoins us to reevaluate the logic of the one-way street.
BENEATH THE ICE FISH LIKE SOULS LOOK ALIKE RELEASED MONDAY, MAY 4TH
May 2015—My chapbook-length poem Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike is available from Bull City Press! To order, please visit the chapbook’s page on their website.
“IN OUR LIVING WORLD: AN INTERVIEW WITH COREY VAN LANDINGHAM” BY EMILIA PHILLIPS IS THE 32 POEMS PROSE FEATURE
April 2015—Many thanks to Corey Van Landingham for such an awesome interview about mystery, creation myths, militarized drones as poetic subject matter, vanitas for poetry, and more! Here’s a little of what she has to say:
Language that is too conclusive, that does not call anything into question, lacks permanence. Questions that are easily answered don’t stick around. And the same goes for poems. I am uninterested, ultimately, in answering. Complicating something is much more compelling to me, as a reader and a writer. But I’m interested, too, in the action of obscuring . . .
TWO POEMS APPEAR IN AGNI
April 2015—”Stopping at Texaco a Year After My Brother’s Death” and “The Wind Lends a Voice To the Mountain Laurel Above Pretty Polly’s Grave” appear in AGNI 81. To order the issue, please go to the issue’s page on their website.
JOINING CENTENARY COLLEGE IN FALL 2015
April 2015—In Fall 2015, I will join Centenary College’s Department of English & Foreign Languages as the Assistant Professor of Creative Writing! I’m thrilled to work with the students and faculty there. New Jersey, here I come!
TWO POEMS APPEAR IN CRAZYHORSE
April 2015—Many thanks to Crazyhorse’s poetry editor Emily Rosko and managing editor Jonathan Heinen for publishing my poems “Apologia of the Shoulder Devil” and “Saudade in the City” in the new issue of Crazyhorse. The issue is shipping starting this week! To order a subscription, please visit their website. Photos by Jonathan Heinen.
“SUPINE BODY IN FULL-LENGTH MIRROR, HOTEL ROOM, UPPER WEST SIDE” APPEARS IN THE NEW ISSUE OF NEW ENGLAND REVIEW AND ONLINE
April 2015—So many thanks to New England Review’s poetry editor Rick Barot and their staff for including my poem “Supine Body in Full-Length Mirror, Hotel Room, Upper West Side” in their new issue alongside poetry by Jennifer Chang, Steven Cramer, Kevin Prufer, C.K. Williams, Nick Lantz, Erin Lynch, Cate Marvin, William Logan, Jehanne Dubrow, Ocean Vuong, Daisy Fried, Anders Carlson-Wee, and John Poch.
The poem also appears on NER’s website, along with other featured content from the issue:
BENEATH THE ICE FISH LIKE SOULS LOOK ALIKE BACK FROM THE PRINTER
April 2015—Bull City Press editor Ross White sent me these sneak-peek photos of my third chapbook, Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike, due out on May 4th! Advanced copies will be available for purchase at the AWP conference in Minneapolis April 8–11th, table #1832. I will be signing the chapbook at the table on Friday the 10th from 11:00 AM–12:00 PM.
You can also preorder the chapbook through Bull City Press’s website.
BENEATH THE ICE FISH LIKE SOULS LOOK ALIKE PAGE NOW ONLINE
April 2015—My forthcoming chapbook Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike (Bull City Press, 2015) now has a page here.
OTHER PROJECTS PAGE NOW ONLINE
April 2015—So I can share other projects I’ve been working on, including my letterpress class work, an Other Projects page is now available on this site.
COVER AND PREORDER NOW AVAILABLE FOR BENEATH THE ICE FISH LIKE SOULS LOOK ALIKE
March 2015—The good people at Bull City Press have released the cover image for my third chapbook, Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike, and have made the chapbook available for preorder for $10 through their website. Although the chapbook won’t be officially released until May, the press will have copies for purchase at their AWP book fair table (#1832) April 9–11 in Minneapolis!
“POETRY AS A WAY OF THINKING: AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMES ARTHUR” BY EMILIA PHILLIPS IS THE 32 POEMS PROSE FEATURE
March 2015—Thanks to James Arthur for this conversation on recitation, spells, poems as built objects, and more! Here’s an excerpt of what James had to say:
. . . here’s what I like: I like poems that immediately claim my attention, instead of taking my attention for granted. At first read, I want to feel compelled to pick up the poem again; I want to be curious about its byways and secret corners. I like poems that affect me emotionally and also provoke me to further, deeper thought. I enjoy challenge, but not, I think, for its own sake. If a poem is difficult, I want that difficulty to exist because the poet is struggling to communicate what is genuinely mysterious, not because the poet is throwing roadblocks in my way.
“A FRONT MOVING IN” APPEARS IN THE PINCH
March 2015—Thank you to the editors of The Pinch for including my poem “A Front Moving In” from my in-progress, third book Bluff in their current issue. To order the issue or a subscription, please visit their website.
“CAN’T BE CREATED OR DESTROYED: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARK JAY BREWIN, JR.” BY EMILIA PHILLIPS IS THE 32 POEMS PROSE FEATURE
March 2015—Thanks to Mark Jay Brewin, Jr. for this wonderful conversation. Here’s an excerpt of what Mark had to say:
I see language as a type of energy. Something that can’t be created or destroyed. Something on-going, infinite. Something in the air. Something we take into us—like breath—without even knowing it, and something we give out unconditionally.
“READING OVID AT THE PLASTIC SURGEON’S” AND “SAUL BASS REDESIGNS THE FIRST MAN” APPEARED ON THE POETRY FOUNDATION’S POEM-A-DAY AUDIO FEATURE BACK IN OCTOBER 2014
March 2015—To hear me read these two poems from Groundspeed (forthcoming in March 2016 from the University of Akron Press), please visit the Poetry Foundation’s Audio & Podcasts collection.
POEM FROM GROUNDSPEED APPEARS IN MIRAMAR
February 2015—Many thanks to Christopher Buckley for his inclusion of “Life Vest Under Your Seat” in Miramar no. 3. For more information about the journal, visit their website.
INTERVIEW WITH EMILIA PHILLIPS BY DANIELLE SUSI ON THE ANGLE
January 2015—Many thanks to Danielle Susi for interviewing me about my forthcoming collection Groundspeed, pedagogy, and failed poems for The Angle.
TITLE POEM OF SECOND COLLECTION GROUNDSPEED APPEARS IN GREEN MOUNTAINS REVIEW ONLINE
January 2015—Many thanks to poetry editor Elizabeth Powell, online editor Jensen Beach, and the rest of the staff of Green Mountains Review for featuring “Groundspeed” online! Groundspeed, my second collection of poems, is due out from the University of Akron Press Akron Poetry Series in March early 2016.