Patrick Philips


Patrick Philips was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned a BA from Tufts University, an MFA from the University of Maryland, and a PhD in English Renaissance literature from New York University. He is the author of the poetry collections Chattahoochee (2004), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Boy (2008), and Elegy for a Broken Machine (2015), a finalist for the National Book Award. Through his poems, Philips frequently tells stories of earlier generations of his white, working-class family’s life in Birmingham, Alabama; in his work, he also grapples with race relations, the complex and violent dynamics of family relationships, and parenthood. His honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Copenhagen. He won the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s translation prize for his translations of the work of Danish poet Henrik Nordbrandt. Source

Old Song

Praised be friends. Praise enemies.

Praise the dark above.


Praise hangovers. Praise cigarettes.

The vulture and the dove.


Praise all music. Praise the harp.

And the amplifier's buzz.


Praise the days we'd live forever.

And loneliness. And love.


Praise even death, or at least the dying,

who taught us how to live.


Praise you, someday, reading this.

Praise light. Praise the wind.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Joy & Praise

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit

End Rhyme

when a poem has lines ending with words that sound the same


A word that, when spoken aloud, has a sound that is associated with the thing or action being named.