Patrick Rosal

One of the things I’ve always loved about poetry is its ability to suggest a coherence that you can’t always define or explain. A sound or image can appear, disappear, recur, and change. Like music, a poem’s transformations and movements—of sound and image—make a meaning that is infinitely more important than the action, plot, or drama that the poem ostensibly represents.

2017 Lenore marshall poetry prize

Finalist Kingsley Tufts poetry award

NEA Fellow

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Brooklyn Antediluvian is a tour-de-force love song to New York City’s most boisterous borough. These poems, restless and unnerving, do difficult, necessary work.
— Patricia Smith
Every heartbreak, grief, and outrage is laced with a hopefulness born not just of Patrick Rosal’s tremendous gifts as a poet, but of his humanity.
— Terrance Hayes
Rosal’s lines bob and weave with an effortless unpredictability. . .show[ing] off his extraordinary ear for poetry’s sonic qualities, in particular rhythm and consonance. . . .The title poem [is] an earth-shattering performance; Rosal seamlessly stitches together history, mythology, etymology, and autobiography.
Publisher's Weekly

Patrick Rosal is the author of four full-length poetry collections. His latest book, Brooklyn Antediluvian (Persea Books, 2016), won the Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Prize for best book of poetry and was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry. Previously, Boneshepherds (Persea Books, 2011) was named a small press highlight by the National Book Critics Circle and a notable book by the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of My American Kundiman (Persea Books, 2006), and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive (Persea Books, 2003). His collections have also been honored with the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award, Global Filipino Literary Award and the Asian American Writers Workshop Members' Choice Award.

His poems and essays have been published widely in journals and anthologies including The New York Times, Tin House, Drunken Boat, Poetry, New England Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Grantland, Brevity, Breakbeat Poets, and The Best American Poetry. His work has been recognized by the annual Allen Ginsberg Awards, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Arts and Letters Prize, Best of the Net among others. His chapbook Uncommon Denominators won the Palanquin Poetry Series Award from the University of South Carolina, Aiken.

He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Research Scholar program. Residencies include Civitella Ranieri, a Lannan Residency in Marfa, TX, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. He is co-founding editor of Some Call It Ballin’, a literary sports magazine.

He has taught at Penn State Altoona, Centre College, and the University of Texas, Austin, Drew University's Low-Residency MFA program and Sarah Lawrence College, and has twice served on the faculty of Kundiman’s Summer Retreat for Asian American Poets. In addition to conducting workshops in Alabama prisons through Auburn University, he has taught high school workshops through the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Sarah Lawrence College's Summer Writing Conference for High School Students, Urban Word NYC, and the Volume workshops in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

His readings and performances include appearances at the Dodge Poetry Festival, the Stadler Center for Poetry, WordFest in Asheville, the poetry reading series at Georgia Tech, Poetry @ MIT, the Carr Reading Series at the University of Illinois, the Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, and hundreds of other venues that span the United States, London, Buenos Aires, South Africa and the Philippines.

When asked about his writing process, Rosal emphasizes the role music plays in his work: “Music is really the center of my process. A lot of it is intuitive and some of it is—for lack of a better word—mysterious. I’m following the sound of a word or phrase, and during revision, I have an idea that a particular sound wants to come back. A lot of my process at every stage is substituting different words into a line based on a sound or series of sounds. What enters is often a more precise word or a word with associations I hadn’t expected or planned, a wilder word. Conceptually speaking, music is what connects us because it makes a pattern. But music is also the opportunity for surprise because that pattern can break and vary.”

A graduate of Bloomfield College and the MFA Program at Sarah Lawrence College, he is visiting Associate Professor at Princeton University and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Camden's MFA program.



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