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Famous Persons We Have Known

Poems by Richard Robbins
Eastern Washington University Press, 2000

Hardcover: 78 pages, $23.95
ISBN-10: 0910055653
ISBN-13: 978-0910055659

Paperback: 78 pages, $13.95
ISBN-10: 0910055661
ISBN-13: 978-0910055666

"This is a humorous, sly, savvy book that explodes our national obsession. These poems are rooted in the weird conglomeration of movies, pop culture, and nature, where we haunt the landscape like the ghosts of fame we imagine at every gas station, grocery store, suburban mall, waiting for mysterious encounters with ineffable Elvis or God-something to transform us, infuse us with passion, lead us out of the darkness of ordinary life."

—Jonis Agee


"This is the most colorful book of poems I've read in recent years. There is something fresh in almost every line, and when I came to the end of the last poem, I felt I'd been given a world."

—Ted Kooser


"Famous Persons We Have Known draws us to it with the deep resonance of a great river or lake, one which reflects our inner landscape. The poems are grounded in the geography of the American west-its seasons, its people, its destruction-and lifted by the music Robbins coaxes out of language. They reveal a sympathy with nature and a passion for humane awareness in a culture which often seems to tell us merely to consume and, "Be happy you know nothing." The collection's final lines, about loved ones we must mourn, also apply to these poems, perhaps to all poems good enough to move us profoundly: 'They are feeding us, even as they leave. / They are inside of us, kneeling and singing. / They break us and tear from within / as if we were bread. They help us / turn new into the life we didn't know was already here.'"

—William Trowbridge

Available locally at the Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstore, Maverick Bookstore, and other locations, or from internet booksellers, such as Powell's Books and, or the distributor, University Press of New England.

If you'd like to see a sampling of poems from this or other books, or hear selected poems read aloud, go here.

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