Congratulations to Philip Raisor whose dazzling chapbook, Hoosiers: The Poems, was selected as the winner of the Palooka Press chapbook contest and will be released in the early summer. Check out his excellent interview at The Drunken Odyssey with John King and a review of the chapbook from Poets @ Work.
Philip Raisor is a mixed bag. As a child, in Muncie, Indiana, he was one of those good kid athletes and then an acute nephritis knocked him out. He spent a half-year on his back, listening to country music and writing his first poems. He was not a good kid poet. But he went on to play high school sports, and is noted for being on the losing team in the Indiana state championship game that inspired the movie Hoosiers. He was also on the losing team in a championship game against Oscar Robertson and his Indianapolis Attucks. It’s not over yet. He was a freshman on the Wilt Chamberlain-led Kansas University team that lost to North Carolina in triple-overtime in the NCAA national finals. And, finally, after transferring to Louisiana State University, he got some recognition as an all-conference playmaker, but spent a couple of years on losing teams in the Southeastern Conference. But, you know, he recovered.
He is the editor of a book of criticism, the author of a collection of poems, Swimming in the Shallow End, and his memoir, Outside Shooter, covers those early sports days. His work has appeared in Southern Review, Sewanee Review, The Writers Chronicle, Indiana Basketball History Magazine, and elsewhere. With a PhD from Kent State (during the troubles), he went on to teach in a number of universities. He is now a father, a scholar, a golfer, a landlord, and an emeritus professor of English at Old Dominion University, where he initiated the creative writing program, the visiting writers series, and the ODU Literary Festival. He lives in Virginia Beach, with wife, Juanita, who was on the staff of the Virginian-Pilot for twenty-five years.