Carl Phillips: Poetry of the Irreconcilable

In 1990, Carl Phillips was a high school Latin teacher in Falmouth when he had a chance encounter with a Massachusetts poet. That experience led him to apply for a state fellowship in poetry – and onto an extraordinary career exploring the irreconcilable forces of need and desire.

Carl Phillips’ thirteenth collection of poetry, Reconnaissance, was just published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hear Carl discuss the collection on NPR.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is celebrating 40 Years of Fellowships by sharing video interviews with some of the extraordinary artists who have received Artist Fellowships since the program’s inception in 1975.

  • On MCC’s YouTube Channel, experience the stories of some of the amazing artists we’ve funded over the last 40 years.
  • If you’re a past Fellow or Finalist of the program, sign our Alumni Book to get back in touch and share your own story.
  • Contact us if you have ideas for the project.

Video Credits: interview recorded at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown; title animation by Basia Goszczynska (Film & Video Fellow ’13); intro music by Laura Andel (Music Composition Fellow ’99), “Sao Dao,” BMI ©1997, performed by the Laura Andel Orchestra; montage and closing music by Sai Ghose (Music Composition Fellow ’03), “Changing Table,” Summit Records ©2002, performed by the Sai Ghose Trio; portrait of Carl Phillips by Ben Kirchner, originally in The New Yorker, ©Ben Kirchner; video footage of Washington University, ©Washington University, 2011; still image credits: Martín Espada (Moyers and Company, 2013), Alan Dugan (Tom Philion/George Mason University, 1975), Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award invitation (Claremont Graduate University, 2002), Carl Phillips at Poets Forum (Brian Palmer/Academy of American Poets, 2008).

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One Response to “Carl Phillips: Poetry of the Irreconcilable”

  1. Betty Carroll Fuller Says:

    Carl Phillps is wonderful poet. He was also my daughter’s favorite teacher at Falmouth High School.

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