Northwestern University Press is hored to inaugurate the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize series with Ed Roberson s Closest Pronunciation. Here is a teacher of poets studying his own assignments, questioning and seeking the generative capacity in looking at and seeing things that ends in the realization of a poem. In a line from the brief poem Night Writing, from which the chapbook draws its title, he writes, The word closest in pronunciation / To an ambulance s siren is wrong. The collection as a whole gives voice, often quiet but always profound, to many things overlooked and neglected in culture, nature, and everyday life.
Ed Roberson is the author of eight books of poetry, including Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In, a winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and a recent collection, The New Wing of the Labyrinth (Singing Horse Press, 2010). His Atmosphere Conditions was selected for the National Poetry Series and nominated for the Lenore Marshall Award from the Academy of American Poets. His latest book, To See the Earth Before the End of the World, is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in fall 2010. A recipient of the Lila Wallace Writers' Award and the 2008 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, he is Distinguished Artist in Residence at Northwestern University.