News

2018

POEM PUBLISHED BY TONGUE
January 2018—Thanks to editor R.A. Villanueva for publishing my poem “Heavy (After Hieu Minh Nguyen)” over at Tongue.

UPCOMING WORKSHOP THROUGH FLAT IRON WRITERS’ ANNOUNCED
January 2018—The Flat Iron Writers’ group in Asheville, North Carolina will host a reading and workshop by me on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Workshop tickets are available on Eventbrite

This Darksome Burn: Experiential Poetic Sound with Poet Emilia Phillips
Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “Inversnaid,” a poem from which our course title is taken, relies upon sounds and cadence as much as concrete description to render his images of a river roaring into a waterfall. In this class for experienced poets, we will explore the ways in which poetic sound supports descriptions, reveals subtextual and emotional information, and produces the sensation of physical experience. We will consider our most sonic-driven contemporary poets, paying special attention to the ways in which sound is harnessed for dramatic effect.
Although this class will touch upon meter and form, we will focus primarily upon cadence, the natural speech patterns that engulf our best free verse. Participants will complete generative writing exercises meant to strengthen their skills at cultivating dramatically appropriate sounds and cadences in their poems. This class will demand a deep engagement and vocalization of the poems we encounter, and we will ask as many questions about our experiences of poetic sound as we answer.
To register by check instead of through Eventbrite, mail your check to Flatiron Writers Room, LLC, 5 Covington Street, Asheville, NC 28806 and include your email address. You will be registered when we receive your payment, space permitting. Class meets 2:30pm-5pm, Saturday, April 14th. Following the class, at 5:30pm, Emilia Phillips will give a free public reading.

POEM PUBLISHED BY RADAR
January 2018—Thanks to the editors of Radar Poetry for publishing my poem “Butterfly-Shaped Organ.” Audio of me reading the poem is available as well.

2017

RECOMMENDED ON THE AGNI NEWSLETTER
December 2017—Thanks to poet and AGNI poetry editor Sumita Chakraborty for recommending my forthcoming Empty Clip over on the AGNI newsletter.

RECOMMENDED ON SHELF AWARENESS
December 2017—Thanks to fiction writer Jamie Quatro for including me in a line up of poets she recommends over on Shelf Awareness.

24PEARL STREET FACULTY SPOTLIGHT
December 2017—In preparation for my eight-week, online poetry workshop, “I Am Trying To Be Marvelous: The Poetics of Body Positivity,” for the Fine Arts Work Center of Provincetown’s 24PearlStreet, I was interviewed over on the 24PearlStreet blog.

POEM INCLUDED IN GLASS POETRY’S 2017 RECOMMENDED READING
December 2017—Thanks so much to Rosebud Ben-Oni for including my poem “Believe It Or Not I Started To Worry,” originally published in The Shallow Ends, in her recommended reading over on Glass Poetry.

MY POETRY OF BODY POSITIVITY PLAYLIST IS NOW UP ON VERSE
December 2017—Thanks to Janet Frishberg for inviting me to make a poetry playlist, “Poems of Body Positivity,” on Verse.

WILDNESS RECOMMENDS MY ESSAY
December 2017—Thanks so much to Andrew Sargus Klein for recommending my Ploughshares essay “Generosity as a Social Justice Reading Practice” on Wildness.

GROUNDSPEED REVIEWED ON THE KENYON REVIEW ONLINE
December 2017—Groundspeed, my second collection of poetry, was reviewed by Lynn Domina on KRO‘s December Micro-Reviews feature.

Line after line, the poems in Emilia Phillips’s Groundspeed are interesting—to the intellect, yes, but also to the ear and the eye. Phillips takes advantage of the flexibility of the page, considering how lines can be placed spatially to affect rhythm as well as meaning. Her choices are thoughtful, whether lines are justified left, or increasingly indented, or skittering across the page. The poems appear to pick up speed or to stutter, hesitate, reconsider their direction—an appropriate strategy for Phillips’s thematic concerns—boundaries between nations, between eras, between life and death.

ESSAY ON POETICS OF BEWILDERMENT ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
December 2017—My essay “Poetics of Bewilderment” is now up on the Ploughshares blog.

Language, whether through sound or syntax or metaphor or sense, allows for reference and its reconcilability, as well as the loss of reference and reconcilability. It can overwhelm, or it can calm. It can move toward answer and question, clarity or confusion. Indeed, a word estranges the object it signifies from its thingness, its actuality, so that a poem is the landscape translated into a field of bewilderment, a moor over which one wanders lost but not without one’s senses, fully present, looking and seeing everything in all its strangeness.

WILL JUDGE 2018 CHAPBOOK CONTEST
December 2017—I will judge The Tusculum Review‘s chapbook contest. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2018, and guidelines are available on their website.

POEM PUBLISHED BY THE OFFING
December 2017—My poem “The Uncanny Valley” was published by The Offing. Many thanks to the editors for their support of my work.

POEM PUBLISHED BY THE SHALLOW ENDS
November 2017—My poem “Believe It Or Not I Started To Worry” was published by The Shallow Ends. Many thanks to editor Eloisa Amezcua for giving this poem a home.

ESSAY ON ANAPHORA ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
November 2017—My essay “Repeat After Me” on anaphora, featuring a brief examination of the anaphora’s place in St. Vincent’s new song “Los Ageless,” is now up on the Ploughshares blog.

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REVIEW OF NATHAN MCCLAIN’S SCALE PUBLISHED BY ON THE SEAWALL
November 2017—My review of Nathan McClain’s poetry collection Scale (Four Way Books, 2017) is now up on the Poets Recommend feature from On the Seawall. Thanks to Ron Slate for including me again in this feature. Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 10.43.22 AM.png

BLURBS FOR EMPTY CLIP, FORTHCOMING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON PRESS IN 2018
November 2017—Thank you to the incredible poets who have contributed blurbs to my third poetry collection Empty Clip, forthcoming from the University of Akron Press in spring 2018.

Empty Clip by Emilia Phillips is a book about violence, about pain, about wounds—both internal and external and how various speakers navigate the aftermath and the echoes of pain.  From a child’s potential sexual abuse to the shooting of a dog to suicide to bulimia to rape, Phillips so skillfully distills violence against the self and by external forces (often towards women).  What’s left on the page is the brilliance of music in the form of language: “I watched instead / the tree in your parents’ yard / sway, turning out its leaves / like wrists, the air a-hiss / with radios & still / no black clouds.”  What’s left on the page shines because of what’s missing, what’s been hollowed and chiseled out with such care.  What lucky readers we are to have this language and mind in the world!” —Victoria Chang, author of Barbie Chang


Empty Clip is a wholly original and powerful book that takes on timely subjects head-on: gun violence, sexual assault, danger, desire, the body, and mediated reality. The forthrightness of these poems, their ability to go into the darkest corners and plumb them, the bravery of the subject material, and the intelligence inherent in the way these narrative and lyric poems move and turn—all of these things make Empty Clip an absolute tour-de-force, and reaffirm the fact that Emilia Phillips is a fearless and astonishing poet.” —Erika Meitner, author of Copia


Empty Clip is composed of poems spoken by an unrequited self that hovers between binaries demarcated by a scar. In its subject, a narrated violence both witnessed and endured, this is a deeply political book, but not conventionally so, in that its politics is framed by its lyricism, and its lyricism by a near-lethal near-erasure of self. Its speaker is multifarious—a precise archivist, a reporter, an editorialist, and a storyteller whose process is a kind of emptying out and whose tales are irreconcilable. The collection’s theology is utterly contemporary, where worry is prayer, and ‘whatever holds/our attention is a brief / god,’ from dick pics to facesofdeath.com. ‘The truth,’ Phillips writes, ‘is / a broken bone that can’t be / set.’ That brokenness, here, has become an open channel for these deeply-intelligent, unflinching poems, which look ‘down the barrel / of days of grief’ yet dare to speak.” —Diane Seuss, author of Four-Legged Girl

INTERVIEW WITH POET RUTH AWAD ON SOUTHERN INDIANA REVIEW ONLINE
November 2017—My interview with poet Ruth Awad about her first poetry collection Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017) is now up on Southern Indiana Review Online.Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 10.40.56 AM.png

AWP SCHEDULE—PANEL ON CREATIVE WRITING PEDAGOGY
October 2017—The description and time for “The Art of Unlearning in the Creative Writing Workshop,” the panel on which I’m participating at AWP 2018 in Tampa, Florida with Christopher Salerno, Patrick Bizzaro, Hadara Bar-Nadav, and Megan Kaminski, is now available on the conference schedule.

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POEM PUBLISHED IN THE CINCINNATI REVIEW‘S MICRO FEATURE
September 2017—My poem “‘You Should Write a Poem About That,’ They Say” is now up on The Cincinnati Review‘s website as a part of their online miCRo feature.

My poet’s coat of arms is a cowbird on a skittish / lamb

ESSAY ON READING GENEROUSLY ON PLOUGHSHARES
September 2017—“Generosity as a Social Justice Reading Practice” is now up on the Ploughshares.
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NOTABLE ESSAY IN BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2017, EDITED BY LESLIE JAMISON
September 2017—My essay “Excisions,” published in StoryQuarterly, was named a Notable Essay of 2017 in Best American Essays 2017.

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REVIEW OF MORGAN PARKER’S THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAN BEYONCÉ
September 2017—Check out my review of Morgan Parker’s There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé over at the Boston Review.

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REVIEW OF DANA LEVIN’S BANANA PALACE ON POETRY INTERNATIONAL
September 2017—Check out my new review of Dana Levin’s Banana Palace (Copper Canyon, 2016) up on Poetry International.

TWO UPCOMING FALL COURSES THROUGH FAWC’S 24PEARLSTREET
August 2017—There are still slots in my two upcoming, online courses through 24PearlStreet from the Fine Arts Works Center of Provincetown: “This Last, Selfish Stitch: On Empathy, Appropriation, and Writing About the Body” (9/18–10/13) and “The Upside-Down: Contemporary Pastorals and Necropastorals” (10/23–11/17, note the overlap with Halloween). For more information about these workshops and other upcoming events, check out my Events page.

EMPTY CLIP, MY THIRD POETRY COLLECTION, IS FORTHCOMING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON PRESS
August 2017—My third poetry collection, Empty Clip, will be published by the University of Akron Press in Spring 2018, with cover art by Rhed Fawell. Many thanks to my editor Mary Biddinger and designer Amy Freels for all of their work toward making my manuscript a book.

The poems of Empty Clip bore into the cultures of violence in the United States while candidly cross-firing upon the poets’ complicity and testifying on these cultures’ effects upon female body image and mental health. From a meditation about a bullet hole-animated PowerPoint presentation on campus shooters to the startled invective against an unprovoked dick pic, lyrics brooding upon illness-driven suicidal thoughts to narratives about a slippery memory of childhood abuse, Emilia Phillips’s third poetry collection sears with the “angry love” of self, in order to find some truth that’s nevertheless “a broken bone that can’t be / set.”

INTERVIEW IN THE ADROIT JOURNAL
August 2017—Thanks to The Adroit Journal and Demetri Raftopoulos for interviewing me about Groundspeed, illness, and lyrical essays in issue twenty-two.

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“SONG FOR MY FOE” ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
August 2017—I wrote about imitation as argument, not homage, by looking at poems by Terrance Hayes, Thylias Moss, and Rickey Laurentiis over on the Ploughshares blog: “Hayes, Moss, and Laurentiis all offer models for the ways in which poems can be in conversation with poets of the past without romanticizing them, by recognizing their limitations and calling them out on them.”
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ESSAY “SWEAT OF THY FACE” ON PASSAGES NORTH
August 2017—”Sweat of Thy Face,” personal essay about being accused of witchcraft in the ninth grade appears on Passages North‘s online content.


INTERVIEW ON FOUNDRY
August 2017—Thanks so much to Foundry Journal for asking me five questions for their website.


POEM ON POEM-A-DAY
July 2017—My poem “Pathetic Fallacy” is the Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets. Thanks to Alex Dimitrov for publishing it!

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REVIEW ON THE KENYON REVIEW ONLINE
July 2017—My review of one of my favorite recent books, Anybody (W.W. Norton, 2016) by Ari Banias, is in the new issue of KRO.

Banias challenges poetry to reinvigorate the lyric personal, the unique and individual faces of people. In this way the book has a feeling of an ecstatic hello, an invitation inside for anyone passing on the street. Like all good relationships, the book is complicated; its tone varies poem to poem, sometimes offering a litany of the names of “Gay Bars,” other times framing the speaker’s heart as a motorcycle, or “a hog riding solo, / highway hot, wind-smeared, ripping alongside a field,” and through all its interstates of narrative, candor, and image, it presents an intersectional cross section of the American lyric, providing the reader with many occasions for joy, for remembering, for “time to quiet down.”

“WHAT IS POETRY?” ESSAY ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
July 2017—My essay “What Is Poetry?” is now up on the Ploughshares blog.

For me, the best definition of poetry is the act and the experience of reading a poem. For every poem I read, I redefine poetry, little by little, so that I’m always, consciously or unconsciously, grappling with what it is and can be. This can happen poem to poem in a single collection, or it may arrive through the serendipitous juxtaposition of a poem I sought out and another that someone gave me.

REVIEW OF GROUNDSPEED ON LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS
June 2017—Lisa Russ Spaar reviewed Groundspeed alongside a re-examination of Olga Broumas’s Soie Sauvage on the Los Angeles Review of Books. Many thanks to Spaar and the LARB editors for their astonishing attention to my poems.

Out of this “scatter plot” of recollections crowding into travel’s liminal space, Phillips articulates the paradox of her own personal — as well as our century’s — limbo: “We are,” she writes, buckling her seatbelt for landing, “flying back in time, to the new world.”

‘THE POET AND THE NEWS” FEATURED ON PLATYPUS PRESS
June 2017—Thanks so much to Hannah Cohen for writing about my Ploughshares essay “The Poet and the News” for Platypus Press.

ESSAY “THE POET AND THE NEWS” ON PLOUGHSHARES BLOG
June 2017—My essay exploring the authority of removed poets on the violence afflicting others is now on the Ploughshares blog.

REVIEW OF IMAGINARY VESSELS NOW ON DIODE
June 2017—Thanks to editor Patty Paine for providing me with the opportunity to review Paisley Rekdal’s Imaginary Vessels for Diode.

UNCG ENGLISH SPOTLIGHTS INCOMING PROFESSORS
May 2017—The Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has spotlighted their four incoming professors, including me. I will join the faculty of their MFA Writing Program this fall. I’m beyond excited about my new job, students, and colleagues.

ESSAY ON HUMOR IN POETRY NOW ON PLOUGHSHARES
April 2017—“Serious Subjects” considers whether poetry needs to be serious and asks, What is “serious” subject matter anyway?

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ESSAY ON ELEGIES AND LOVE POEMS NOW ON PLOUGHSHARES
March 2017—“She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not: the Love Poem and the Elegy” begins:

All of my attempted love poems sound like elegies, and so I’ve given up trying to write them for my beloved, lest I give the wrong impression. Occasionally, however, one will come to me like a windfall, a speck of gold in the pan. Like the plastic baby in the King Cake—nearly breaking my teeth. These accidental love poems start elsewhere, among minutiae, my humblest attentions.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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TO SEE NEWS FROM BEFORE 2017, PLEASE VISIT THE ARCHIVED NEWS PAGE