Carl Phillips

Carl Phillips wins the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry

The Washington University Department of English is proud to announce, Professor Carl Phillips has been awarded the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Then The War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020.

The Pulitzer committee has declared his work, "A masterful collection that chronicles American culture as the country struggles to make sense of its politics, of life in the wake of a pandemic, and of our place in a changing global community... Then the War includes a generous selection of Phillips’s work from the previous thirteen years, as well as his recent lyric prose memoir, “Among the Trees,” and his chapbook, Star Map with Action Figures."

The announcement concludes, "Ultimately, Phillips refuses pessimism, arguing for tenderness and human connection as profound forces for revolution and conjuring a spell against indifference and the easy escapes of nostalgia. Then the War is luminous testimony to the power of self-reckoning and to Carl Phillips as an ever-changing, necessary voice in contemporary poetry."

See the full announcement, here.

Get your copy of Then the War, here. (Or at the WashU Bookstore!)


Carl Phillips is the author of 15 books, most recently the Pulitzer Prize winning collection, Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020 (Macmillian, 2022). Other books include Wild Is the Wind (FSG, 2018), The Tether, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and Double Shadow, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.  His prose books are The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination (2014) and Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry (2004), and he has translated Sophocles’s Philoctetes (2004).  A finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, his other honors include the Lambda Literary Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation Poetry Award, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of American Poets, for which he served as Chancellor from 2006-2012.  In addition to contemporary poetry and the writing of it, his academic interests include classical philology, translation, and the history of prosody in English.

See Carl Philips full faculty page, here.