Ernest Hilbert

1608 Walnut Street 19th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Author's Bio

Ernest Hilbert’s debut poetry collection Sixty Sonnets (2009) was described by X.J. Kennedy as “maybe the most arresting sequence we have had since John Berryman checked out of America.” His second collection, All of You on the Good Earth (2013), has been hailed as a “wonder of a book,” “original and essential,” an example of “sheer mastery of poetic form,” containing “some of the most elegant poems in American literature since the loss of Anthony Hecht.” His third collection, Caligulan (2015), has been called “brutal yet beautiful,” defined by “pleasure, clarity, and discipline,” “tough-minded and precise,” filled with a “stern, witty, and often poignant music,” “a page-turner in a way most poetry books can never be.” His poems have appeared in Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Parnassus, Sewanee Review, Hudson Review, Boston Review, Verse, New Criterion, The New Republic, American Scholar, Hopkins Review, Oxonian Review, and the London Review, as well as several anthologies, including the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (2009) and two Penguin classroom anthologies, Poetry and Literature (both 2011). He graduated with a doctorate in English Language and Literature from Oxford University, where he edited the Oxford Quarterly. He later served as poetry editor of Random House’s magazine Bold Type and editor of Contemporary Poetry Review. Hilbert supplies opera libretti and song lyrics for contemporary composers Stella Sung, Daniel Felsenfeld, and Christopher LaRosa, as well as scripts for the post-punk conceptual band Mercury Radio Theater. Hilbert is as a senior specialist at Bauman Rare Books in Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife, Keeper of the Mediterranean Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and their son. He is also the poetry concentration director for the World of Versecraft Low-Residency MFA program at Western State University of Colorado.

Publications and Prizes

All of You on the Good Earth
(Red Hen Press, 2013)
, Sixty Sonnets
(Red Hen Press, 2012)
Swallow Anthology of New American Poets
(Ohio University Press / Swallow Press, 2009)
, Literature: A Pocket Anthology 5th edition
(Penguin Academics, 2011)
, Poetry: A Pocket Anthology 7th edition
(Penguin Academics, 2011)
32 Poems, 66: The Journal of Sonnet Studies, American Arts Quarterly, American Literary Review, American Poet, American Poetry Review, American Writing, Asheville Poetry Review, At Length, Barrow Street, BOMBlog, Boston Review, Cimarron Review, Edinburgh Review, Fence, Georgetown Review, Horizon Review, Jacket, Jewish Quarterly, Linebreak, LIT, Literary Imagination, The London Magazine, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Measure, Meridian, Midwest Poetry Review, The New Criterion, New Orleans Review, New York Sun, Parnassus, Pleiades, Poetry East, Rattle, Southwest Review, The American Scholar, The Dark Horse, The Harvard Review Online, The New Formalist, The New Republic, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Verse, Volt, William & Mary Review, Yale Review

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now: 
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
History of English Prosody by George Saintsbury
A Few Green Leaves by Barbara Pym
Yellowdog by Martin Amis
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

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Last updated: Jan 05, 2016