Rowan Ricardo Phillips forThe Ground

The PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry of $5,000 is given in odd-numbered years and recognizes the high literary character of the published work to date of a new and emerging American poet of any age and the promise of further literary achievement. Past winners have been Nick Flynn, Richard Matthews, Dana Levin, and Yerra Sugarman.

2013 Judges

Henri Cole, Dorianne Laux, and Robert Wrigley

From The Judges’ Citation

Rowan Ricardo Phillips (“that’s an Old Norse first name,/ A Spanish middle name,/ And one of those faux-English-faux-Dutch-sounding last names”) can be sweetly Whitmanesque in his poems, or gravely meditative, or lushly lyrical. In other words, he is a poet capable of voices—plural. Every poem in The Ground surprises the reader with its vivid images and rhythms, or its fully present, personal voice, or its lightning-bolt sincerity. And while there is often a hidden tragedy at the center of his poems, there is also great pleasure taken in the idea of survival during a time of chaos.

Runner Up

Tomás Q. Morín for A Larger Country

From The Judges’ Citation

The judges are thrilled to recognize emerging poet Tomás Q. Morín as the runner-up for this year’s PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award of Poetry. Morín’s A Larger Country is an elegant first book by this promising new poet. The elegiac voice, the expert use of poetic structure (and near-structure)–as in the “North Farm” sonnet sequence–and the emotional authenticity throughout make this a memorable and electrifying debut.

Previous Winners

Ishion Hutchinson,  Peter Covino, Nick Flynn, Richard Matthews, Dana Levin, and Yerra Sugarman.