Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight is a trailblazing anthology of poetry that spans from the dawn of the space age to the imagined futures of the universe. The anthology offers a fascinating record of both national mindsets and private perspectives as poets grapple with the promise and peril of space exploration across decades and into the present. Tracing an arc of literary skepticism during the Apollo era and before to a more curious, and even hopeful, stance today, Beyond Earth’s Edge includes diverse perspectives from poets such as Robert Hayden, Rae Armantrout, N. Scott Momaday, Adrienne Rich, Tracy K. Smith, Ray Bradbury, May Swenson, Pablo Neruda, and many other engaging poetic voices.
Beyond Earth’s Edge vividly captures the violence of blastoff, the wonders seen by Hubble, and the trajectories of exploration to Mars and beyond through a wide array of lyric celebrations, somber meditations, accessible narratives, concrete poems, and new forms of science fiction. With the dawn of the New Space movement, continued interest in Mars, and renewed excitement about returning to the Moon, Beyond Earth’s Edge is a giant leap toward bridging poetry and science.
Julie Swarstad Johnson is the author of Pennsylvania Furnace, editor’s choice selection for the Unicorn Press first book series, as well as the chapbooks Orchard Light and Jumping the Pit. She has served as artist in residence at Gettysburg National Military Park. She lives in Tucson and works at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Christopher Cokinos is the author of three books of literary nonfiction: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds; The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars; and Bodies, of the Holocene. In 2016, the University of Arizona Press published his co-edited anthology, The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide, which won a Southwest Book of the Year award. Cokinos’s poetry collection, The Underneath, was awarded the New American Press Poetry Prize.
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