, a Washington University professor, has been named a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry for his latest collection, Speak Low
. This is Phillips' third National Book Award nomination. The awards ceremony will take place November 18 in New York City.
"I am honored, surprised,
excited -- and above all, grateful to think that my work might resonate
with someone besides its maker," Phillips said yesterday in a Wash. U. press release. But life will go on if he doesn't win. "Many of our greatest poets
have never won this award. To have been singled out is
an honor itself. The real pleasure will lie in making the next poem
that I have to make."
Phillips is the author of ten books of poetry, one book of essays and one translation of the Greek tragedy Philoctetes
and has already won a host of literary prizes, including the Samuel Morse French Poetry Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship and, of course, the highly-coveted RFT Best Poet of 2006
Of Speak Low
, Phillips says, "I think of it as a kind of
meditation on risk, restlessness, and the ways in which being human can
come into conflict with how society defines so-called moral and
responsible behavior, especially when it comes to sex."
For more of Phillips and his work, check out Malcolm Gay's 2006 feature, "Chapter & Verse"