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Patrick Phillips

Patrick Phillips was awarded the 2005 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book, Chattahoochee, and his second, Boy, was published in the VQR Poetry Series in 2008. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including Poetry, Ploughshares, New England Review, and The Nation. His awards include a Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Emily Clark Balch Prize from VQR.


Old Song

Summer 2011 | Poetry

Praised be friends. Praise enemies.
Praise the dark above.
Praise hangovers. Praise cigarettes.
The vulture and the dove.


Spring 2010 | Poetry

Like two wrestlers etched around some ancient urn, we’d lace our hands, then wrench each other’s wrists back until the muscles ached and the tendons burned, and one brother or the other grunted mercy—a game we played so many times I final [...]


  I can see the grout between the bricks and hear the Hot Wheel clatter as it fishtails, and then flips. The stove like some experiment: clouds of sweet steam belching each time my mother lifts the stock pot’s sweaty lid. My sister’s [...]


  My heart swelled inexplicably when I turned the key and caught the scent of something lovely, coming from the kitchen. I dropped my loaded bag and clowned a heart-attack when my son came running from his room and gripped my thumbs, a [...]


Spring 2006 | Poetry

  Whatever it was     that made the Reverend         Barker stoop that way, it meant no matter     how much he screamed       &nb [...]


Winter 2006 | Poetry

It is the year the sky reminds us some mistakes cannot be mended. The year, dime-eyed and listless, a fever came to kill him. Imperceptibly the windows creep towards the floor, the black bay whitening and widening with the squall. It is the night [...]

Blue Ridge Bestiary

Spring 2004 | Poetry

Business never slows for the air's ubiquitous
morticians, their spiraling so effortless

we might admit its beauty, if we didn't know
how eagerly, in those ridiculous black boas,

Twelve Views of My Father

Spring 2004 | Poetry

1 Grown so young she has a name, my father's grandmother, Cleavy Rowe, settles into the portrait's ancient rocking chair, having never told a living soul about her boy who died as she, for the first time, holds him. 2 Look, seal-slick and laughi [...]