Born in San Diego on July 4th, 1970, Philip Metres grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1992, and spent the following year in Russia on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, pursuing an independent project called “Contemporary Russian Poetry and Its Relationship to Historical Change.” Since receiving a Ph.D. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Indiana University in 2001, Metres has written a number of books and chapbooks, including A Concordance of Leaves (2013), abu ghraib arias (2011), Ode to Oil (2011), To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (University of Iowa Press, 2007), Instants (a chapbook, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006), Primer for Non-Native Speakers (a chapbook, Kent State 2004), Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (Ugly Duckling 2004). and A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky (Zephyr 2003).
His writing–which has appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry–has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award (for the forthcoming Sand Opera), the Anne Halley Prize, the Arab American Book Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. His work has been called “beautiful, powerful, magnetically original” (Cleveland Arts Prize citation). Lawrence Joseph has written that “Philip Metres’s poetry speaks to us all, in ways critical, vital, profound, and brilliant.” His poems have been translated into Arabic, Polish, Russian, and Tamil. He is professor of English at John Carroll University, in Cleveland, Ohio.