Ed Roberson

Ed Roberson is the author of ten books of poetry including the chapbook Closest Pronunciation (Northwestern University Press, 2013). His most recent full-length collection, To See the Earth before the End of the World (Wesleyan University Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and one of two runners-up for the Kingsley-Tufts Award. An earlier work, Atmosphere Condition (Sun and Moon, 2000), was selected for the National Poetry Series and nominated for the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Award.

His newest collection, Asked What Has Changed, is projected for release from Wesleyan University Press in 2020.

Roberson is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Other honors include the African American Literature and Culture Association’s Stephen Henderson Critics Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award.

Retired from Rutgers University, Roberson lives in Chicago, where he has taught classes and workshops at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University. From 2009 to 2014, he was an artist in residence teaching in Northwestern’s English and creative writing departments. He is currently an emeritus professor in Northwestern’s MFA creative writing program. Roberson has served as an instructor at the Cave Canem Retreat for Black Writers and as the Holloway Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

While earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh, Roberson was a research assistant in limnology and traveled on expeditions through Canada, Alaska, the Kodiak and Afognak Islands, and Bermuda. As an expedition member of the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh, he climbed mountains in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes. Roberson has worked as a diver-tankman in the Pittsburgh AquaZoo, in steel mills, and in advertising graphics. He has motorcycled across the United States and has traveled in West Africa, Mexico, and the Caribbean.