Dennis Phillips is an American poet and novelist. He is the author of A World, Arena, Book of Hours, Credence, and Sand, among other works of poetry, as well as the novel Hope. Phillips is a professor in the department of Humanities and Sciences at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he has been teaching literature and writing since 1979. Additionally, he is on the faculty of the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design.
Like the medieval maps from which Mappa Mundi takes its title, Dennis Phillips' 16th volume of poetry is a survey of territory as subjective as it is tangible. Riffing off the unstable certainty of medieval world maps, Mappa Mundi builds on, refracts, distills, distorts and reexamines Phillips' past works and recurring themes, relying on, repeated motifs, narrative tensions and lyrical condensations. Its three parts charting the key elements of city, desert and islands, Mappa Mundi sets a predicate to be expanded in its sequel, The Cartographer's Lament.
"Manner is everything; but in this work's alphabetical arrangement is offered more than a predetermined taxonomy of means. Here, rather, is a series of lyric and meditative inducements. They consider, quite literally observe the stars in an endless variety, discretely shaped and arcing with a grace of reckoning from A to Z. Everything between sustains a momentum of original discovery and provides a measured set of refinements of newly observable truths. These are writings of quality—not of qualification.” - Ray DiPalma