Carl Phillips: Creativity in Isolation and After

May 19, 2020

By Gabrielle Colangelo

We asked poet and critic Carl Phillips what he has been thinking about in this time of isolation and quarantine. In response, he discussed his Instagram cooking show, how his cancelled book tour has made him rethink the point of writing poetry, and his manuscript-in-progress. To close, he read us the titular poem from his new book: “Pale Colors in a Tall Field.” 

Carl says, “it can seem as if the world as we knew it was very long ago, but I suspect it’ll be back—maybe a little better than before we knew it.” 

FIND & FOLLOW Carl Phillips online: Instagram: @pinestereo; Twitter: @CPhillipsPoet

READ Carl’s new book, Pale Colors in a Tall Field: Poems


Robert Giard photographed Carl Phillips in 2000. Explore the rest of the Beinecke’s collection of Robert Giard photographs, digitized here

Has Carl’s cooking show got you thinking about recipes? Check out this article about Georgia O’Keefe’s recipe box, recently acquired for the Beinecke’s collection. Also explore this 1750 recipe book, which contains recipes for plague water and chocolate puffs, and “We Eat,” a cookbook by Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein. 

- Gabrielle Colangelo, Y’21

Yale Collection of American Literature Student Research Assistant