Robert Gibb wins Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry

Author: Kathryn Pitts

Among RuinsAmong Ruins

Robert Gibb, author of Among Ruins, is the winner of the 2017 Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry. This book 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's haunting historical narratives capture the Steel City, "Where the crucible mills poured fire, / Slag erupted nightly above the other shore." The ruins in this book are various—personal, historical, cultural—and are filtered through a variety of perspectives, including the poet's own as well as those of visual artists (Aaron Harry Gorson and Lewis Hine) who have made Pittsburgh their subject and artists (James Whistler, Eugène Atget, J. M. W. Turner) who have been imagined here.


"Once again Robert Gibb has found a gritty, searing, 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

Robert Gibb was born in 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.


The Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English at University of Notre Dame in conjunction with The University of Notre Dame Press. The prizes are awarded to authors who have published at least one volume of poetry. More information.


Robert Gibb will be reading at the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 7:30pm, at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. The event is free and open to the public.


Among Ruins is available in print and digital editions from the University of Notre Dame Press. Contact: Kathryn Pitts at e:, p: 574.631.3267