Paperback | 9780268102104 | September 2017
Hardcover | 9780268102098 | September 2017
eBook (PDF) | 9780268102111 | September 2017
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268102128 | September 2017
Among Ruins is the final volume of Homestead Works, a collection of four books of poetry that explore the industrial past and legacy of the old steel town of Homestead, Pennsylvania, and, by extension, Pittsburgh.
Robert Gibb was born in the steel town of Homestead, Pennsylvania. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, including The Origins of Evening, which was a National Poetry Series winner. He has received numerous awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts grants, seven Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants, a Best American Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and The Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize, among others. He lives on New Homestead Hill above the Monongahela River.
"'Pittsburgh looks celestial, hovering in mid-air,' Robert Gibb writes in one of the translucent poems that make up Among Ruins. In this magisterial book, Gibb makes his native Pittsburgh native ground, art object, and myth. Whether recalling a gray childhood, jobs he once worked, or meditating on the photographs of W. Eugene Smith or Clyde Hare, Gibb gives us poems that can both tell a story and stop us in our tracks at an unexpected insight. 'This is the house my memory has kept for me,' one poem says, and we want to follow those words through each room of that large and varied house." ~Al Maginnes, author of Taking Up Our Daily Tools
"Hailing from Homestead, Pennsylvania, not far from Pittsburgh, the man makes poetry from ore and fire, slag and steel: from boyhood memories of small-city America to the middlish, late years of the twentieth century—the length of time it takes for a prosperous city to go through hell and begin a climb back. This collection is the fourth and final volume of Robert Gibb's study of his old industrial steel town." ~ForeWord Reviews
"The one-time steelworker skillfully uses Among Ruins’ 81 pages to round out his four-volume Homestead Works cycle, with its focus on the industrial past of the poet’s hometown that informs this region’s history, as well. No self-promoter, Gibb has been quietly crafting sharp-eyed work for decades. . . . Gibb juxtaposes his and the area’s past in relevant, beautifully rendered ways using a wide range of artists and photographers as a lens to situate the reader among the rubble of things past." ~Pittsburgh City Paper
"Once again Robert Gibb has found a gritty, searing, haunting, bluesy lyricism in the heart of industrial America. His poems remember growing up in and around Pittsburgh where he still lives amid the ruins and art and photos and repurposed structures where memories remain most available, most scalding. Whether dealing with the danger of steel or steam, the inescapable clamor of machinery, or the shenanigans of youth shadowed and bounded by factory life, Gibb's fiercely elegant poems explore how a city, a landscape, a person 'could / heal and yet still be broken.'" ~Floyd Skloot, author of In the Shadow of Memory
"Poet Robert Gibb strains to see what once was in his native Homestead in his extraordinary Among Ruins. . . . His neighborhood is a place where 'Pittsburgh looks celestial' and the memories of the locals are as haunted as the police station is said to be. . . . [Gibb] confront[s] the reader with the question of what becomes of our neighborhoods as the city changes. Which is just another way of asking what will become of us." ~Pittsburgh Magazine
"I was lucky as editor of Notre Dame Review to have received poems by Robert Gibb one at a time for some years before I actually registered his stature as one of the best poets of his generation. I think I’d rather walk through Homestead, Pennsylvania, with Robert Gibb than through Dublin with Stephen Dedalus. I return to his poems the way I return to the great poets of place: Yeats, Hardy, Williams. I don’t just 'admire' these poems, I love them. I couldn’t be more delighted that ND Press is publishing his new book as a Sandeen Prize winner. I knew Ernest Sandeen for many years. This is a book that he too would have celebrated. " ~John Matthias, emeritus, University of Notre Dame