Last night posed a geographical dilemma for poet, Daily contributor, and Paris Review softball outfielder Rowan Ricardo Phillips. We had known for a while that Rowan was due to receive the 2013 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry for his collection The Ground. But when we learned he was also the recipient of a 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award, on the same evening, and several blocks northwest, we wondered how exactly he’d work the geography. In the end, it was tight; when the PEN Awards started, Rowan was not onstage with the other recipients. But he finally arrived, was there to accept his second award of the evening, and both times made impressive extemporaneous remarks, somehow seamlessly working in Catalan, Shakespeare’s sonnet 116, and heartfelt tributes to his mother and wife, between thank-you’s to editors, publishers, and friends. All in all, a good night’s work! Hearty congratulations to Rowan and all the evening’s talented honorees.
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