Get Your Premium Membership

Russell Edson Biography | Poet

Photo of Russell Edson

Russell Edson, an American poet, was born in 1935 in Connecticut, is one of the foremost writer of prose poetry in the United States.

He was the winner of the Guggenheim fellowship in 1974.

According to

"Reclusive by nature, Russell Edson was born in Connecticut in 1935 and currently resides there with his wife Frances. Edson, who jokingly has called himself "Little Mr. Prose Poem," is inarguably the foremost writer of prose poetry in America, having written exclusively in that form before it became fashionable. In a forthcoming study of the American prose poem, Michel Delville suggests that one of Edson's typical "recipes" for his prose poems involves a modern everyman who suddenly tumbles into an alternative reality in which he loses control over himself, sometimes to the point of being irremediably absorbed--both figuratively and literally--by his immediate and, most often, domestic everyday environment. . . . Constantly fusing and confusing the banal and the bizarre, Edson delights in having a seemingly innocuous situation undergo the most unlikely and uncanny metamorphoses."

Reclusive by nature, Edson has still managed to publish eleven books of prose poems and one novel, The Song of Percival Peacock (available from Coffee House Press). All of the following poems included in this personal website collection, except for "Sleep," "Accidents", "The Death of a Fly," and "Balls", are from The Tunnel: Selected Poems (Oberlin College Press).

Russell Edson: Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes