Maya Phillips



New Yorker


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Order Erou: Amazon | Indiebound | Four Way Books

Upcoming Events

October 2019
12: Lit Crawl @ TBA w/ Julia Guez, Jen Levitt
23: NYU Bookstore w/ Diane Mehta, Monica Ferrell, Julia Guez

November 2019
17: Brookline Poetry Series - Boston
17: Lizard Lounge - Cambridge
19: Eleanor Wilner Series - Cambridge
20: Cantab Lounge - Cambridge

December 2019
6: Literary Writers Conference @ The New School
7: Powerhouse Arena w/ Jon Sands, José Olivarez

January 2020
30: Poetry Out Loud @ Fordham University

More on Erou

In Search of a Black Odysseus: My Father’s Journey Home personal essay feature at LitHub

Page One feature in Poets & Writers

Poet of the Week feature at Brooklyn Poets

Poetry Daily feature

My debut full-length poetry collection, Erou, is out from Four Way Books. You can order the collection and read some of my published poems at the publications listed below.


“Alecto” | The Missouri Review
“Augury,” “Circe,” “January 3, 2015,” “Nepenthe” | The Rumpus
“Ode to My Father’s Failed Heart” | The New York Times Magazine
“Haunt,” “In Consideration of Love” | wildness


"Poem Ending with a Scene of a Woman Alone" | American Literary Review
"The Woman," "Sometimes my father is a roaming hunger," "In Which My Mother and Father Meet for Brunch After His Death," "And/Or," "Of Late" | West Branch
"At the Doctor's Office" | The Boiler
"Revision," "Losing His Cool" | The Gettysburg Review
"Offering" | Vinyl
"Persephone, Engaged" | At Length
"Erou" | Hayden's Ferry Review
"A Kind of Temperament" | BOAAT
"Daddy says," "Say," "Ode to My Father's Failed Kidney," "Currency," "My father dreams of the sky" | Ghost Proposal


"The Kindly Ones," "Theme in Red" | Anomaly


"Sunnydale High Student No. 23" | FreezeRay Poetry

Praise for Erou

“These spare poems quiver with grief, but they are no mere elegies. No, they are exorcisms for the father’s infidelities and outbursts, they are conjurings of his ghost as it wanders the subways and bears witness to his own autopsy. Here, you have the strange finesse of Anne Carson but hammered by the hard knocks of the city and our modern times.”
—Nickole Brown

“These engrossing poems bind family and myth, intimacy and allegory, 'Gap-toothed Erou' and 'Erou of the forked tongue.' The poetry of Maya Phillips is full of unforgettable imagery, wordplay and candor. She writes with a clarity that can cut as quickly as it calms.”
—Terrance Hayes

“The hero’s journey has never been more engaging in contemporary poetry than in Erou by Maya Phillips. We travel between the mythical and the hyper-real, making sense of a world that’s becoming stranger than fiction daily; she captures how our lives appear to us and gives permission to question why our days feel like a fable. Phillips navigates between the struggles of family and the complications of love and the quotidian challenges we must navigate in the world. With the keen eye of Robert Hayden and the lyric range of June Jordan, Maya Phillips has stepped forward with a collection of poems that’s an odyssey for the 21st century.”
—A. Van Jordan

“Executed as a modern epic poem that blends urban decadence with transcendental pathos, Phillips eviscerates the idea of pedestrian exchanges. This impressive work invites a discourse that redefines the depths of desperation, forgiveness, and acceptance.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“The difficult, perhaps selfish, repeatedly mourned dead father in ‘Erou’ competes with and sometimes merges into Phillips’s scenes from Greek mythology (‘Hades, Hosting’; ‘Persephone, Rising’), whose stark tableaus can echo those of Louise Glück. In plain language with plenty of white space, the poems try to get beyond detail, beyond history, yet they ground themselves first and last in the father’s life and times.”
—Stephanie Burt, New York Times Book Review


I'm an arts and culture journalist with experience writing everything from TV recaps and theater reviews to long editorials and hard news for online publications, local print papers, national newspapers and more. My focus is in writing long-form criticism and features on theater, movies and television, but I'm also passionate about writing about books, particularly poetry, anime/manga, graphic novels and various other elements of nerd culture. My work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, American Poets, American Theatre, Vulture, Mashable, Slate, The Week, EDGE, Black Nerd Problems, The New York Amsterdam News, Elmore Magazine, Chelsea Now, Dig Boston and Improper Bostonian, among others. You can check out a sampling of my work below.

American Poets  Review: Human Hours  (2018)

American Poets
Review: Human Hours (2018)

American Poets   Review: Trickster Feminism  (2018)

American Poets
Review: Trickster Feminism (2018)

American Poets  Review: Stet  (2018)

American Poets
Review: Stet (2018)

American Poets  Review: Baby, I Don’t Care  (2018)

American Poets
Review: Baby, I Don’t Care (2018)

American Poets  Review: The Carrying  (2018)

American Poets
Review: The Carrying (2018)

American Poets   Review: Bury It  (2018)

American Poets
Review: Bury It (2018)



Maya Phillips was born and raised in New York. Maya received her BFA in writing, literature, and publishing with a concentration in poetry from Emerson College and her MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers. Her poetry has appeared in At Length, BOAAT, Ghost Proposal, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Rumpus, Vinyl, The Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review, and The New York Times Magazine, among others, and her arts & entertainment journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vulture, Mashable, Slate, The Week, American Theatre, and more. She is the author of the poetry collection Erou (Four Way Books, 2019). A former content editor & producer at the Academy of American Poets, Maya currently works as a web producer at The New Yorker and as a freelance writer. She lives in Brooklyn.

Read more about her poetry and journalism and follow her @mayabphillips

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