Poems by Patrick Phillips


"For me this is a real discovery. In many of the poems—‘Nathaniel’ or ‘Matinee’ or ‘Star Quilt’—the language is quiet and accurate, the details precise, and the emotions—though never insisted upon—are there, unquestionable and complex. The art here is in hiding the art, and he is that rare poet with the tact and chops to accomplish that. What a find!"
—Philip Levine, Ploughshares

"In sparse, deft, and elegant language, Phillips’s remarkable second book of poems, Boy, places the poet midway between the lives of his parents and the lives of his children, where 'the endless dream / of childhood' has given way to the reality that 'whole human beings / sprang from us.' From this vantage point, he celebrates the wonderful simultaneity of experience that allows him to be, all at once, father, son, man, and boy."
—Michael Collier, author of Dark Wild Realm

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This follow-up to Patrick Phillips's award-winning debut navigates the course of the male experience, and particularly young fatherhood. Like Virgil's Aeneas, the book's central figure is in the middle time of life, a grown man with an aging father on his shoulders and a young son at his hand. Phillips's plainspoken and moving lyrics add an important voice to the poetry of home as they struggle to reconcile fatherhood and boyhood, present and past, and the ache of loving what must be lost.
The VQR Poetry Series

Page count: 72 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $19.95

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Patrick Phillips's first book, Chattahoochee, was selected by Alice Quinn, Robert Wrigley, and Robert Pinsky for the 2005 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and also received a "Discovery"/The Nation Prize from the Unterberg Poetry Center. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Copenhagen, and his translations of the Danish poet Paul la Cour received the Sjoberg Translation Prize of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. He is currently an assistant professor of English at Drew University.