Philip Metres was born in San Diego and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He earned a BA from Holy Cross College and both an MFA and PhD from Indiana University. Metres is the author of the poetry collections To See the Earth (2008), A Concordance of Leaves (2013), which won the Arab American Book Award, Sand Opera (2015), and Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), as well as numerous chapbooks. He is also the editor of the anthology Come Together: Imagine Peace (2008), and he has translated Russian poets in collections such as A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky (2003), Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (with Tatiana Tulchinsky, 2004), Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Poetic Texts of Lev Rubinstein (with Tulchinsky, 2014), and I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (with Tulchinsky, 2015).

A scholar of war literature, Metres wrote the critical study Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (2007). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry and he is the recipient of honors and awards including a National Endowment for the Arts award, a Watson Fellowship, two Ohio Arts Council Grants, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

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