Ed Roberson

Click Book to Order


To See the Earth Before the End of the World (Wesleyan University Press, 2010)


The New Wing of the Labyrinth (Singing Horse Press, 2009)


City Eclogue (Atelos, 2006)


Atmosphere Conditions (Green Integer, 1999)


Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In (University Of Iowa Press, 1995)




To See the Earth Before the End of the World


“In this dreamy collection, human features stand out as distinct then blend into the nature of the world surrounding them. We can’t always tell plant from animal from mineral, and Roberson reminds us that in the end, as in poetry, such distinctions are moot.”—Camille T. Dungy


"Ed Roberson's labyrinthine, syntactically double-jointed lines work at a nervous, disconsolate pitch, peculiar insight and curious angle at the forefront of the tutorage they bring. His most compendious volume to date perhaps and certainly true to its title, To See the Earth Before the End of the World moves in many directions, often all at once, a 360-degree jitterbug waltz of a book." —Nathaniel Mackey



The New Wing of the Labyrinth


“The New Wing of the Labyrinth, is a haunted and a haunting book, a descent into the complex geography of human consciousness and its relationship to the external world. It is also a meditation on the nature and inevitability of death, as well as the poet’s confrontation of the prospect of non-existence; in short, the very edge of the phenomenal map.” —Eric Weinstein, Jacket magazine


“Ed Roberson's poems embrace the complexities of a life that reflects itself in the luminous mirrors of history, painting, and music. A blur of imperfect moments informed by a vision which links the various threads leading outward to our common world 'in which all that lifts must land.' The ebb and flow of words, phrases, and caesuras in his work convey an oceanic roll, a largesse of possibilities, how to write and how to live.”—Lewis Warsh



City Eclogue


“I do not think it would be going too far to call City Eclogue Ed Roberson’s masterpiece. This collection, which reads effectively as a long poem, despite its show of individually titled poems, synthesizes and perfects the poetics Roberson has been working with since he began publishing in 1970. His control of language—or his ability to reveal to us the telling elusiveness of language—has never been stronger…” —Evie Shockley



Voices cast out to talk us in: poems


“Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In stands extremely tall. It is a wrought, wry, entrancing, transportive, strict, soul-sustaining book.”—Nathaniel Mackey


“Roberson's simple message, …that things in life are hard to pin down, is reiterated with authority in numerous ways throughout this complex, fine collection.”—Publishers Weekly


There is no one else like Ed Roberson—certainly there is no other poet like him. His is an oblique, eccentric, totally fascinating talent. Because of these qualities, it may seem that he is difficult to follow—as Ornette Coleman or Gabriel García Márquez or Romare Beardon seems difficult to track at times. But his strength of vision is always evident; the quickness and inclusiveness of his voice can sweep a reader along into new and refreshing areas. —Iowa Poetry Prize