Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Areas of Expertise


Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a multi-award-winning poet, author, screenwriter, academic, translator, and journalist.  His writing appears in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and other national and international publications.


The author of three books of poetry, a book of literary criticism, a non-fiction book on tennis, and a book-length translation of fiction, Rowan Ricardo Phillips has been awarded the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Whiting Award, and the GLCA New Writers Award. He has also been a finalist for the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the National Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.


Also an acclaimed sportswriter, Rowan’s writing on basketball has been collected by The Library of America, his soccer writing has been acclaimed by BBC commentary and English soccer legend Gary Lineker, and his award-winning writing on tennis has achieved widespread international recognition.


Rowan has written the screenplay for Legendary’s biopic on baseball icon Roberto Clemente adapted from Pulitzer Prize winner David Maraniss’ biography Clemente: The Passion and Pride of Baseball’s Last Hero, which will be directed by O. J.: Made in America creator Ezra Edelman and produced by John Lesher, Fuego Films’ Ben Silverman and Jay Weisleder, with Giselle Fernandez and Sandra Condito as executive producers. His work has also been heard on the small screen: his poetry has been adapted for music and subsequently appeared on Spike Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.


Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a graduate of Swarthmore College and has a doctorate in English Literature from Brown University. He has previously taught at Harvard, Columbia, Warren Wilson, Baruch, and NYU. Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a Professor of English at Stony Brook University and a member of the faculty of Creative Writing at Princeton University. He has been named the W. Ford Schumann Distinguished Visiting Professor in Democratic Studies at Williams College for Spring 2020.

Scholarship/Creative Work


Living Weapon (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020)

The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018)

Heaven (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015)

The Ground (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)

When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010)



Eternity on the Mediterranean.The New York Times Magazine. 2 June 2019.

The Antiguans.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux Work in Progress website. 26 April 2019.

On Notions of Innovation and Influence.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux Work in Progress website. April 2016.

A Poets’ Correspondence (I-VI): Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Glyn Maxwell.” Little Star online. June 2015 – September 2015.

Skyscrapers and Everything.” The Paris Review online. June 2015.

In Praise of Charles Wright.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux Work in Progress website. April 2015.

After Catalonia’s Independence Vote, an ‘Homage’ to George Orwell.” NPR Books online. November 2014.

On July 4, A Celebration of Whitman’s Irreverent Hymnal.” NPR Books online. July 2014.

Labyrinths: On Translating Salvador Espriu.The Paris Review online. 10 July 2013.



The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Rowan Ricardo Phillips.” The Rumpus. 10 July 2012.

Interview: Rowan Ricardo Phillips.Granta online, 11 June 2012.

Q&A: Rowan Ricardo Phillips with FSG Poet Lawrence Joseph.Work in Progress, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Website. 7 June 2012.



“The Jets, the Bills, and the Art of Losing” (The Paris Review) 13 September 2019.

“Seles-Capriati” (Racquet Magazine, Issue 11) Fall 2019.

“Why I’ll Enjoy Reflecting on Tennis in the Off-Season” (The New York Times) 1 December 2018

“Why Does the Tennis Season End Before It’s Over” (The New York Times) 22 September 2018.

“Clay-Court Tennis, The ‘Greatest Show on Dirt” (The New York Times) 9 June 2018.

“The Ballad of David Goffin” (Racquet Magazine, Issue 7) Summer 2018.

“The End of the Tour: Tennis Stars in Twilight” (The Paris Review) 30 October 2017.

“Carmelo Anthony’s Misbegotten Time in New York Has Finally Come to an End” (The New Yorker) 25 September 2017.

“The Fall and Rise of Roger Federer” (The Paris Review) 20 July 2017.

“Orange Crush” (The Paris Review) 15 June 2017.

“The Perfume of Narcissus; Watching the Crowd––and the Tennis––at This Year’s BNP Paribas Open” (The Paris Review) 27 March 2017.

“The Idea of Order: Nadal and Federer Face Off at the Australian Open” (The Paris Review) 31 January 2017.

“Are You Experienced?: On the 2017 Australian Open” (The Paris Review) 27 January 2017.

“Triptych for the End of a Season” (The Paris Review) 14 July 2016.

“Blue in Green” (The Paris Review) 14 June 2016.

“Meet the New Boss” (The Paris Review) 7 June 2016.

“After the Love Has Gone” (The Paris Review) 5 April 2016.

“An Awkward Farewell to Kobe Bryant” (The New Yorker) 17 March 2016.

“Hoops and the Abstract Truth” (The Paris Review) 1 March 2016.

“Liftoff Is Like a Fingerprint: On Watching NBA All-Star Weekend” (The Paris Review) 18 February 2016

“Kings” (The Paris Review) 5 February 2016.

“Among School Children” (The Paris Review) 27 January 2016.

“Hustle and Trust: Notes on the Knicks (and Edmund Spenser)” (The Paris Review) 22 January 2016.

“In a Dark Wood” (The Paris Review) 12 January 2016.

“Days of Wine and Curry” (The Paris Review) 11 December 2015.

“The Art of Losing” (The Paris Review). 2 December 2015.

“Rhapsody on a Theme from Rip City, Part 1” (The Paris Review). 16 November 2015.

“Welcome to My Basketball Life” (The Paris Review). 6 November 2015.

“Öfke, or, the rage of arda turan” (Soccer Gods). 30 January 2015.

“And He’s Gone in a Flash, Goalward” (Howler Magazine).  26 November 2014.

“The End” (The Paris Review). 15 July 2014.

“Let’s Get Metaphysical” (The Paris Review). 10 July 2014.

“Brazil’s ‘Bullyball’ Goes Belly Up” (The New Republic). 8 July 2014.

“Third Place” (The Paris Review). 8 July 2014.

“On Diving” (The New Republic). 7 July 2014.

“Variation on a Theme of Jacques Brel” (The Paris Review). 1 July 2014.

“Still Moving” (The Paris Review). 26 June 2014.

“Requiem for the Ivory Coast” (The New Republic).  25 June 2014.

“Shades of Oranje” (The Paris Review). 24 June 2014.

“Win, Lose, or Draw” (The Paris Review). 23 June 2014.

“Laid Bare” (The Paris Review). 19 June 2014.

“Desire and Despair(The Paris Review). 17 June 2014.

“Sketches of Spain” (The Paris Review). 16 June 2014.

“The Anatomy of a Goal: How Error Leads to Perfection” (The New Republic). 14 June 2014.

“World Cup 2014: Kickoff” (The Paris Review). 15 June 2014.

“The Blank Canvas, Unfurled” (Howler Magazine). 11 July 2014.

“The Nothing that Is Not There” (Howler Magazine). Winter 2014.

“Netherlands, Rowan” (Footballists). 11 October 2013.

“2-0” (The Paris Review). 19 December 2012.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award, 2019

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting, 2019

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Poetry, 2016

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2015

New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU Fellow, 2014

Whiting Writers’ Award, 2013

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award in Poetry, PEN America Center, 2013

New Writers Award for Poetry, Great Lakes Colleges Association, 2013


Professional Affiliations

Public Books, poetry editor

Creative Council, Aspen Words, Aspen Foundation

Committee Member, New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU

Judge, 2017 Kathryn A. Morton poetry prize

Judge, 2017 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

Judge, Academy of American Poets College Prize

Judge, 2015 NEA Translation Fellowships

NEA Expert Reader in Catalan for 2015 NEA Translation Fellowships

Judge, 2015 NEA and The Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Out Loud National Finals

Judge, 2014 National Book Award for Poetry

Judge, 2014 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry