Ernest Hilbert

1608 Walnut Street19th FloorPhiladelphia, 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


Sixty Sonnets
(Red Hen Press,
All of You on the Good Earth
(Red Hen Press,


Swallow Anthology of New American Poets
(Ohio University Press / Swallow Press,
Poetry: A Pocket Anthology 7th edition
(Penguin Academics,
Literature: A Pocket Anthology 5th edition
(Penguin Academics,


American Arts Quarterly
American Literary Review
American Poet
American Poetry Review
American Writing
Asheville Poetry Review
At Length
Barrow Street
Boston Review
Cimarron Review
Edinburgh Review
Georgetown Review
The Harvard Review Online
Horizon Review
Jewish Quarterly
Literary Imagination
McSweeney's Internet Tendency
Midwest Poetry Review
New Criterion
The New Formalist
New Orleans Review
The New Republic
New York Sun
Unpleasant Event Schedule
Poetry East
The American Scholar
The Dark Horse
London Magazine
Southwest Review
William & Mary Review
Yale Review
32 Poems
66: The Journal of Sonnet Studies

More Information

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., PA
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., NY

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
Favorite Books:
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark, GUT Symmetries by Jeanette Winterson, The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson, Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Favorite Authors:
W.H. Auden, Robert Lowell, Philip Larkin, John Berryman, Barbara Pym, Henry James, Amy Clampitt, Jeanette Winterson, Hunter S. Thompson.

Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Listing last updated: January 5, 2016.