Photo by Sue Kwon
Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a highly acclaimed, multi-award-winning poet, author, screenwriter, academic, journalist, and translator. His poetry collections include The Ground (FSG, 2012), Heaven (FSG, 2015), Living Weapon (FSG, 2020), and the forthcoming Silver (FSG, 2024). He is also the author of When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness (a new edition of which is forthcoming from FSG) and the nonfiction book The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey. His translations, primarily from Catalan, have appeared widely; including his translation of Salvador Espriu’s classic short-story collection Ariadne and the Grotesque Labyrinth (Dalkey Archive, 2012). Phillips has written on contemporary art for Artforum as well as for David Kordansky Gallery. In 2021, an exhibition inspired by one of Phillips’ poems, “The Beatitudes of Malibu” debuted at the David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles. Phillips is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, the President of the Board of the New York Institute of the Humanities, and the poetry editor of The New Republic.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Whiting Award, and the GLCA New Writers Award. He has also been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the NAACP Award for Outstanding Work in Poetry, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Also a renowned sportswriter, Phillips is a curatorial consultant to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His book in progress, I Just Want Them to Remember Me: Black Baseball in America will be published by FSG in 2025. He has written extensively on baseball, basketball, soccer, and tennis for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review.
Phillips’ screenplay, Clemente, for a biopic based on the life of baseball icon Roberto Clemente, is in pre-development for Legendary Entertainment and Le Grisbi Productions. The screenplay is adapted from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Maraniss’ biography Clemente: The Pride and Passion of Baseball’s Last Hero. His poetry has been adapted for music and has also appeared on Spike Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.
A graduate of Swarthmore College and Brown University, where he earned his doctorate in English Literature, Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a Distinguished Professor of English at Stony Brook University. He divides his time between New York City and Barcelona with his wife and two daughters.