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Ed Roberson, born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a contemporary poet interested in the environment, visuality, and spirituality.  He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including MPH + Other Road Poems (2021), the chapbook Closest Pronunciation (2013), To See the Earth Before the End of the World (2010), which was a runner up for the Los Angeles Times Poetry Award, The New Wing of the Labyrinth (2009), City Eclogue (2006), and Atmosphere Conditions (1999), which was chosen for the National Poetry Series, and was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.  He lives in Chicago, where he has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University.

Asked What Has Changed

Wesleyan University Press
2022 Shortlist
United States

Judges’ Citation

Through inventive language that moves with the sonic beauty and unpredictability of lake breakers, or wheeling swallows, Ed Roberson’s Asked What Has Changed is a challenging and urgent interrogation of and reckoning with the history, violence, and revelatory inevitability of interconnectedness between humans and nonhumans.

Poised between the vertical forces of social inequality and racial injustice, the horizontal sprawl of ghettoized urban growth and environmental degradation, and the temporal trajectories of a glacial past and a climate-changed future, these poems position a poetic eye attuned not only to seeing, ‘but with understanding sight.’ Through inventive language that moves with the sonic beauty and unpredictability of lake breakers, or wheeling swallows, Ed Roberson’s Asked What Has Changed is a challenging and urgent interrogation of and reckoning with the history, violence, and revelatory inevitability of interconnectedness between humans and nonhumans. Continuing to expand the possibilities for Black aesthetics and ecopoetics, this book is a crucial contribution to pressing political, artistic, and environmental questions.


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