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by Rowan Ricardo Phillips


by Rowan Ricardo Phillips


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Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Poetry

Winner of the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award

Finalist for the Griffin International Poetry Prize

Long-listed for the National Book Award

Long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award

One of The Washington Post’s Best Poetry Collections of 2015

One of NPR’s Best Books of 2015

One of Flavorwire’s Best Poetry Books of 2015

"Who the hell's heaven is this?" Rowan Ricardo Phillips offers many answers, and none at all, in Heaven, the piercing and revelatory encore to his award-winning debut, The Ground. Swerving elegantly from humor to heartbreak, from Colorado to Florida, from Dante's Paradise to Homer's Iliad, from knowledge to ignorance to awe, Phillips turns his gaze upward and outward, probing and upending notions of the beyond.

"Feeling, real feeling / with all its faulty / Architecture, is / Beyond a god's touch"—but it does not elude Phillips. Meditating on feverish boyhood, on two paintings by Chuck Close, on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, on a dead rooster by the side of the road in Ohio, on an elk grazing outside his window, his language remains eternally intoxicating, full of play, pathos, and surprise.

"The end," he writes, "like / All I've ever told you, is uncertain." Or, elsewhere: "The only way then to know a truth / Is to squint in its direction and poke." Phillips—who received a 2013 Whiting Writers' Award as well as the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award—may not be certain, but as he squints and pokes in the direction of truth, his power of perception and elegance of expression create a place where beauty and truth come together and drift apart like a planet orbiting its star. The result is a book whose lush and wounding beauty will leave its mark on readers long after they've turned the last page.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374536220
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 1,050,703
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is also the author of The Ground (FSG, 2012). He is the recipient of a 2013 Whiting Writers' Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for Poetry, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

The Mind After Everything Has Happened 3

Kingdom Come 4

The Odyssey, Book 11, Lines 538-556 5

Little Song 8

Boys 9

The Starry Night 12

The Empyrean 13

The Barycenter 15

Measure For Measure 16

Nothing Of A Blue Remains 18

Mirror For The Mirror 20

Monday Morning In Snowmass, Colorado 21

Paradiso, V: 91-93 22

Sin Verguenza 23

Lucas and Mark 25

The Beatitudes Of Malibu 26

Like Someone Who Sees Himself Close To Death 30

Nature 31

Apollo And Marsyas 32

The God And The Goat 34

Musica Universalis 35

Grand Poème Pathétique 36

Paris Prelude 37

To An Old Friend In Paris 38

Never Again Would Birds' Song Be The Same 39

Like A Bullet Shot Backwards Through Time 41

The Primum Mobile 42

Pax Americana 43

On The End Of The Iliad 44

News From The Muse Of Not Guilty 46

The Once And Future King Of Ohio 47

Mirror For The Mirror 49

The Menace 50

The Descent Of Jupiter Over The Maroon Bells 51

Exit Troubadour 54

Bernardo 55

An Excuse For Mayhem 57

Vall De Núria 58

Acknowledgments 61

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