Ed Roberson


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Foreword / Andrew Welsh -- because the final -- songs without words -- the rice care -- The park geese -- A sudden smoothness like a glass -- there are no stars in -- With the dead rest -- the cobra standing -- we can run out of our side -- blood: someone says it's not -- The fast storm sky wiped so suddenly -- the walls become whole -- the builders baled chambers -- I pull a curtain of the great cats -- The Local/Elevations -- No -- a carnival of bald deer -- the rule of the spirits guesses -- the fireworks mariner -- you have to run forward -- Their body holding -- I walk nights -- sometime I'm going to have to -- As a boy there were no black boy -- and now here I was in the amazon -- it is a flash flood -- Huge Spaces Apart We Still Look Each Other Face to Face (Santa Barbara) -- when I saw it I thought I was hundreds -- the variations on god -- At Any of the Bethabaras: Metempsychosis -- Red Shift -- influence it -- We had seen a first -- Information


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 Garcia Marquez or Romare Bearden 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.

Roberson's poetic moves are not tricks or affected traits. They are artistic and deeply considered techniques. Reading the two basic cycles of this elliptical and intriguing work could be likened to reading Ezra Pound or a more deliberate and lyrically touched Charles Olson, but with an unanchored allusiveness of things largely American taking the place of the Chinese and the Mayan. Roberson creates that rare combination of sophistication and simplicity which defines truly significant poetry. In this new work he makes the variety of our culture dance from his very special viewpoint.

Series Title

Iowa poetry prize

Award Date


Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages

xvi, 149

ISBN of Print Version



Copyright 1995 Ed Roberson

Voices cast out to talk us in: poems