Poetry. African American Studies. Ed Roberson might no longer live in Pittsburgh, but the city in which he was born and raised still leaves its fragmented structures etched throughout his poetry. A city of hard work and hard times, the now-impoverished neighborhoods that had at one time stood as centers of jazz and art; the hills, the rivers, the skyscraping iron and steel, and the pain. Though most of the poems in this collection do not necessarily take place in Pittsburgh, there is a rhythmic fragmentation here painting portraits of urban life in general. Beauty, music, poverty, blood, and concrete seem to live within the line breaks, while breath-stopping pauses halt you just long enough so that--like at a smoky backroom jazz club--you can't wait to see what he does next.
Ed Roberson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1939. He is author of several books of poetry, most recently THE NEW WING OF THE LABYRINTH (Singing Horse Press, 2009) and CITY ECLOGUE, (Atelos, 2006). His collection Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In was a winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize; his book Atmosphere Condition was a winner of the National Poetry Series and was nominated for the Academy of American Poets' Lenore Marshall Award. He is a recipient of the Lila Wallace Writers' Award and the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award. Author City: CHICAGO, IL USA