The Empty Loom


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Finalist: 2012 Miller Williams Poetry Prize


The poems in The Empty Loom weave together a figure—lover, wife, mother, muse—which takes shape before us, fully present in what Samuel Beckett calls “the time of the body.” Set firmly within the resonance of the natural world and glimpsed in paintings, fabrics, snatches of song, the poems revolve around her, fulfilling their “injunction to savor / The folds of light which fall / On the perishable world.” Now joyful, now elegiac in tone, Gibb’s love and its loss are rendered in the quiet elegance of image and line characteristic of his poems, their focus shifting like the sun as it tracks its passage across a room, a life.

Robert Gibb was born in 1946 in the steel town of Homestead, Pennsylvania. He is the author of eight books of poetry. His awards include the National Poetry Series, two Poetry Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Strousse Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He lives on New Homestead Hill above the Monongahela River.

“One of the best poets now writing in America.”

Notre Dame Review


“The strength of American writing today is in such good work.”

—Guy Davenport, author of The Geography of the Imagination