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Patrick Phillips

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Patrick Phillips
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Patrick Phillips was born in 1970 in Atlanta and raised in the Appalachian foothills of north Georgia. He attended Tufts University, and earned an MFA in Poetry at the University of Maryland, as well as a PhD in English Literature at New York University.

He is the author of three collections of poetry: Elegy for a Broken Machine (Knopf, 2015), Boy (University of Georgia Press, 2008), and Chattahoochee (University of Arkansas Press, 2004).

Phillips was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Copenhagen's Centre for Translation Studies, where he began translating When We Leave Each Other: Selected Poems of Henrik Nordbrandt (Open Letter, 2013), which won the Translation Prize of the American Scandinavian Foundation.

His other honors include the Kate Tufts Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University, a Discovery/The Nation Prize from the 92nd Street Y, a Pushcart Prize, the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

He currently teaches at Drew University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Elegy for a Broken Machine (Knopf, 2015)
Boy (University of Georgia Press, 2008)
Chattahoochee (University of Arkansas Press, 2004).

by this poet


The truth is that I fall in love
so easily because

it's easy.
It happens

a dozen times some days.
I've lived whole lives,

had children,
grown old, and died

in the arms of other women
in no more time

than it takes the 2-train
to get from City Hall to


The Chinese truck driver
throws the rope
like a lasso, with a practiced flick,

over the load:
where it hovers an instant,
then arcs like a willow

into the waiting,
gloved hand
of his brother.

What does it matter
that, sitting in traffic,
I glanced out the