Tell Us Your Publishing Story: Phillip Knight Scott

I am honored to be featured over at Go Dog Go Cafe sharing my story of publishing my first collection of poetry. Head over there and join a happy community in this time of intense uncertainty.

Go Dog Go Café

Phillip Knight Scott picture - Phillip Scott

Name You Write Under
Phillip Knight Scott

In what part of the world do you live?
North Carolina

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a native of Durham, North Carolina, where I live and write poetry. A husband and father, I find happiness in family, friends, reading, and of course writing. Though writing embarrassingly self-important poems since childhood, it was only at age 39 that I published my first collection of poems, Paint the Living, Plant the Dead.

Tell us about your journey as a writer.
I wrote poems for much of my childhood but, with the intrusion of adulthood, only sporadically wrote while my career took hold. When I lost a job unexpectedly in 2018, I turned back to writing, working on a novel and diving back into the world poetry, which has been therapeutic and rewarding. Though my unemployment was short, I could not shake…

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This tree

Photo by Sue Vincent

This tree wraps the sky in its arms, a promise 
of salvation buried beneath bark 
as leaves peak at the surface, buoyed 
by the world’s pledge of protection 
softly cooing on the wind.

The breeze dissolves as all things must 
into an atmosphere of unmoving refuse 
where changing winds turn away 
against the backdrop of cows laying still 
under the too-slow warming sun.

And still this tree shivers looking ahead, 
optimism scrubbing bark clean of dirt 
and other residue otherwise clouding its defense,
stronger in the effort while grasping 
at the heavens, uncertain as they are.


© 2020 | Phillip Knight Scott

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt: Still



Through the thorns

We search for a scarlet rosebud, 
grabbing past the dreary thorns — 
hidden but hopeful — pricking us 
on our pursuit of that perfect bloom 
sprouting defiantly for us.

The fire reveals the fruit but 
illuminates scars — some we’d hoped 
to hide with half-eaten candy — 
not realizing that the bigger the room 
the more places for serpents to hide.

I feel fortune’s poke in this, propelling us 
on a treasure hunt where X 
misses the mark sometimes while 
our best highwater pants 
keep our shins delightfully dry.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2020

Written for the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt : “scarlet rosebud”


Survive the ice

Morning arrived with an icy slap 
of good intentions — a cheeky 
red reminder to weather another day. 

Will the unwritten tourist hasten 
to the conclusion, twenty-four unlived 
chapters cut for time? 

Or will she hold the day close and enjoy 
whatever blows in with the chill, knowing 
we cannot choose the story but relish the book? 

The sun illuminates 
what night tries to hide —  a colorless tale 
cannot survive long. 
Survive long.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2020

Written for the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge : “twenty four” and “ice”


Reflections in space

Standing in the mirror
she failed to divine
the scope
of a universe just above 
the horizon. Unseen 
within herself, 
distracted by visions 
of reflected glory, her dreams 
begged for sunlight.

The astronaut neglected 
to recognize the gravity 
of the situation, 
but with luck she will 
seize the opportunity 
another daybreak illuminates, light 
bounding among 
the star-point hopes 
shining in the dark.


Phillip Knight Scott |© 2020

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Mish asks us to choose last lines in a book and find inspiration in them. I took inspiration from this quote: “She shuts her eyes. Drifts off untroubled, everything clear, and radiant, and all at once.” — “And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini.

Written for the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: “Standing in the mirror she”


Poem included in new #1 anthology

I have some incredibly awesome news: my poem “Another storm” is included in a brand new poetry anthology, Pain & Renewal from the wonderful Brian Geiger at Vita Brevis Press. That anthology was released yesterday and shot to #1 in Amazon’s poetry anthology list. It is such an incredible honor to be included in this work with a wide collection of talented poets.

You can read more about this wonderful collection here.

And, as always, my first collection of poems is available here. Be sure to leave a review!


Discolored past

Photo by Sue Vincent

The rocks mark the ground
between prospering weeds enriched
by the warmth of a sun surging overhead,
encircling those of us interred
on a planet whose
percussive heartbeat rocks me to sleep.

I sense the presence of wildflowers,
of ants scurrying together in the dirt,
of life — too bountiful to count or name — 
thriving in the darkness or 
at least out of sight — 
I dare not note a difference in perspective.

Photos remain after we pass on
a gentle breeze that thoughtlessly turns
blacks to sepia, discoloring too many memories
otherwise cruelly lost
in darkness 
though the sun shines tomorrow.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2020

My first poem of the new year! Submitted to dVerse Poets Pub Open Mic Night #257

Written for:


Where has Phillip been? WRITING

If you’ve been following my blog closely (and I assume you have been consumed with it for months now) then you probably noticed I dropped off the face of the Earth in the last few weeks.

Good news! I’m back! And I have news!

I just this week completed the first draft of my first novel, tentatively called That Time the World Almost Melted: An Earth-based space comedy. If you hate that title, well there’s plenty more to hate beyond that. And that’s where you come in: I need volunteers to help me out by beta reading this tome before I even think about publishing it.

What are you getting into?

  • As the subtitle implies, it’s a sci-fi comedy. The main characters are human, but aliens pop up and adventure ensues. (Silly, pointless adventure.)
  • It’s a relatively short novel (53,000 words, a bit longer than “novella”)
  • I’ll provide a questionnaire in addition to the manuscript so you can give me your full, unvarnished opinions.

What’s in it for you?

  • You will be thanked in the acknowledgments of my book
  • You will get a copy of the book
  • You will be remembered fondly by me and probably my mother
  • You will have the life-long pride of having helped shaped one of the seminal novels of the 21st century (assuming you help me and also do this for Ta-Nehisi Coates)

Book description

Jake Whitman wasn’t having a great day. Work was stressful, his girlfriend just broke up with him, and the local brewery was really stretching with its latest punny beer names. No matter how bad, he was not expecting to find an alien in the back seat of his car. Now he’s on the road with federal agents, news media, and who knows what else chasing him. The very fate of the world could be on his shoulders … or at the very least tough dinner decisions.


Drop me a line if you want to volunteer!

phillipkscott [at] gmail [dot] com


The year in light

The twilight of another year sparkles
with flashes — burning brilliance —
so I cannot leave them behind
as we place one foot into the future.

I pause now, lingering
on the twinkling moments, 
savoring the sweet stamped imprints
while my month waters 
in anticipation of more to come.

Even the sad, the hurt,
the bulbs I’d replace if I could —
I’ll take them with me. Sometimes 
any light is a reminder 
that life glimmers between bursts
of radiant light
whether we’re looking or not.


Phillip Knight Scott | © 2019

Written for Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Year’s End