Philip Raisor's dazzling poetry chapbook, Hoosiers: the Poems, reflects on a time decades past of basketball, love, war, and the fires of youth and aging. Check out a review of the chapbook from Poets @ Work.
Philip is a mixed bag. As a child in Muncie, Indiana, he was one of those good-kid athletes, 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 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, 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, where he initiated the creative writing program, the visiting writers series, and the ODU Literary Festival. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Juanita, who was on the staff of the Virginian-Pilot for twenty-five years.