Ernest Hilbert is the author of three collection of poetry, Sixty Sonnets, All of You on the Good Earth, and Caligulan, which was selected as winner of the 2017 Poets’ Prize. He lives in Philadelphia where he works as a rare book dealer, opera librettist, and book reviewer for The Washington Post. His poem “Mars Ultor” appears in Best American Poetry 2018.

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Ernest Hilbert Poems

Squirrel Hill

We wake to find our outdoor cat is dead.
Some drunk speeding up the block, no doubt.
The wheel's blow was so hard it spread
Her out like an old rug, rung her life out,... more »

Who Is He Dares Enter These My Woods

I'm late for work. I can't figure what's wrong
At first, but then I feel the peaceable kingdom
That the daily rush-hour leaves in its wake.
I hail Miss Bonnie, who's puffed as an autumn... more »

On The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Of John Lennon's Murder

On a step behind the Holiday Inn,
Two Russians roamed up, bummed a cigarette,
While a third snuck up, struck me from behind.
I sprawled to asphalt. Then the boot came in.... more »

Ernest Hilbert Quotes

Comments about Ernest Hilbert

Lamont Palmer 21 Dec 2009 10:44
Good critics often write some of the best poetry. Hilbert is no exception. He is a poet of great depth and verbal dexterity without being obscure beyond comprehension. Always an interesting read. -LP