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Beyond Earth's Edge

The Poetry of Spaceflight

Edited by Julie Swarstad Johnson & Christopher Cokinos

with an introduction by John M. Logsdon

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. This anthology offers a fascinating record of both national mindsets and private perspectives as poets grapple with the promise and peril of U.S. space exploration. With more than eighty poems including work by U.S. Poets Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, and engaging new voices, Beyond Earth’s Edge is a giant leap toward bridging poetry and science.

Available for purchase through The University of Arizona Press,, or through your favorite local bookstore. 

Listen to an interview on Planetary Radio, featuring poems read by Bill Nye, astronauts Leland Melvin and Nicole Stott, planetary scientists Alan Stern and Linda Spilker, and more.

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“Editors Johnson and Cokinos have created a profoundly stirring evocation of the glory and tragedy of spaceflight that lets us better see not only worlds beyond but also ourselves.”—LEE BILLINGS for SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

Beyond Earth’s Edge is an expansive anthology that takes on the topics of space, spaceflight, outer space, otherworldliness, and what it means to be inhabitants of Planet Earth imagining a world beyond. With an incredible aesthetic range and consistent sense of wonder, this anthology rekindles the imaginative power of poetry that both helps us see beyond ourselves and helps us see ourselves more clearly.”

“Only two of the contributors to this soaring, adroitly curated anthology actually traveled in space, but nothing stops the rest of them from vaulting skyward on a pillar of words, with a potent gravity-assist from their emotions.”—DAVA SOBEL

“Journalists criticized the earliest space explorers, frequently trained as engineers. They lacked the ability to capture the poetry of space, the journalists said. Turns out the poets were always there, assembled here in a wonderful complement to all the mission reports and technical manuals.”—HOWARD E. McCURDY

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