Philip Metres

(San Diego, California)

Biography of Philip Metres

Philip J. Metres III (born 1970 in San Diego, California and raised in Lincolnshire, Illinois) is an award-winning American poet, translator, scholar, and activist. His most recent poetry books include Sand Opera and A Concordance of Leaves. He has published poems, essays, and reviews in literary journals and magazines including Poetry, New England Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, New American Writing, Massachusetts Review, Field, and others. His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry; The New American Poetry of Engagement; With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century; A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (2011); I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights (2009); and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry (2008).

Metres’ honors include two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Arab American Book Awards in poetry, the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize, a Creative Workforce Fellowship, five Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, the Beatrice Hawley Award, the Anne Halley Prize for best poem by Massachusetts Review (2012), the Cleveland Arts Prize (Emerging Artist) (2010), Jury Prize for To See the Earth (Lit’s Literary Showcase, 2008), Twin Cranes Peace Poem Prize; “For the Fifty Who Formed PEACE with Their Bodies,” and a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship (2001). His first book, Behind the Lines, received the COPRED/OMNI PeaceWriting Award. During his Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (1992–93), he began to translate contemporary Russian poetry, and he has since published numerous translations of the poetry of Sergey Gandlevsky and Lev Rubinstein.

After Metres received a B.A. magna cum laude from Holy Cross College, he went on to earn an M.A. (English), M.F.A. (poetry) and Ph.D. (English) at Indiana University at Bloomington. He is currently a professor of English at John Carroll University. Metres blogs frequently and teaches issues related to nonviolent resistance to war and racism in the United States, Middle East, and Northern Ireland. Of Lebanese descent on his father's side, Metres plays a role in the Arab-American literary scene. Metres currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, Amy Breau, and two young daughters. His family of origin includes psychologists Kay Dannemann Metres (mother) and Phil Metres Jr. (father), education and writing entrepreneur Katherine Metres (sister), and attorney David Metres (brother).

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Prayer

Wither me to within me:
Welt me to weal me common again:
Withdraw to wear me weary:
Over me to hover and lover again:

Before me to form and perform me:
Round me to rill me liquid incisions:
Behind me to hunt and haunt me:
Down me to drown indecision:

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