Northwestern University Press is honored 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.
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