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Chicagoan Phillip B. Williams among 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship winners

Phillip B. Williams, via Eliza Griffiths

Chicago-born poet Phillip B. Williams is $15,000 richer thanks the latest round of Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships doled out by the Poetry Foundation. The prize is “intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry,” the Foundation said in a statement. Those 21 to 31 years of age are eligible.

Born in 1986, Williams — an MFA student at Washington University in St. Louis — has published two books of poetry (Bruised Gospels and Burn) and edits the online journal Vinyl Poetry. His work has also appeared in several journals and magazines, including the New Republic and Poetry.

“I sit down. I write. Or, I sit down and I stare at the page,” Phillips once explained. “My process is one of jumping into it and waiting to see what happens. Usually if I am staring at the page for too long, I’ll scribble down images. Eventually connections will surface and I find myself following whatever paths become available.”