Architecture of Things: A Tribute to Ed Roberson

Rooms 433-434, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Thursday, March 9, 2023
10:35 am to 11:50 am


A tribute to Ed Roberson, whose career rose amid the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and '70s, which inspired him to challenge language and expectations of what a Black poet “should” be. A self-described nature and visual poet, he inspires us to be in conversation with and see our environment anew. A formally educated poet, Roberson is known for creating structures of layered voices that capture complex internal conversations. Four renowned scholars will speak, followed by Roberson reading.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Outline-Roberson.pdf



Evie Shockley’s poetry books include semiautomatic (Pulitzer Prize finalist), the new black (Hurston/Wright Legacy Award winner), and the forthcoming volume suddenly we. Her book of criticism is Renegade Poetics. She is the Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English at Rutgers University.

Phillip B. Williams is the author of the poetry collections Mutiny (Penguin, 2021) and Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books). A recipient of a Whiting Award, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Lambda Literary Award, he currently teaches at Randolph College low-res MFA.

Douglas Kearney has published eight books of poetry, essays, and libretti. He teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His honors include a Griffin Poetry Prize, a Campbell Opera Librettist prize, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award.

Nathaniel Mackey is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, and editor whose honors include the National Book Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Bollingen Prize, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University.

Ed Roberson is the author of a dozen books of poetry, most recently MPH and Other Road Poems and Asked What Has Changed. The recipient of many honors, including the Jackson Poetry Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Roberson lives in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center