African-American Poet at Washington University Is a Finalist for National Book Award

Carl Phillips, professor of English and of African and African-American studies at Washington University in St. Louis, was selected as one of five finalists for the National Book Award in poetry. Professor Phillips was nominated for his collection Speak Low, his tenth book.

In describing his latest poetry collection, Professor Phillips said, “I think of it as a kind of meditation on risk, restlessness, and the way in which being human can come in conflict with how society defines so-called moral and responsible behavior, especially when it comes to sex.”

This is the third time Phillips has been a finalist for the National Book Award. He is a graduate of Harvard University. Phillips holds a master’s degree in Latin and classical humanities from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in creative writing from Boston University.

The winners of the National Book Award will be announced on November 18 in New York City.