Crossroads                     Keeping Score                                        From the Ground Up


Crossroads: Poems of a Mississippi Childhood  (St. Louis: Time Being Books, 2010)

Bob Hamblin doesn't miss much of importance, whether he actually remembers it or makes it up, like any poet, to fill the gaps that memory can't reach.  These strong, evocative poems will reach those gaps in our memories, too, make us whole by removing the screens which often keep us from remembering what we saw, from seeing what we remember.  These poems are clear-eyed and moving.  --Noel Polk, author of Outside the Southern Myth

Reading Crossroads, you appreciate the depth and complexity of these poems that range over the full spectrum of life and accumulate a profound wisdom in perfect rhythm and a music that delights the heart and mind.  --Terry Everett, Mississippi poet, author of The Work of Two Hands

This is a deeply felt book that understands that language can seek the desired crossroads between what once was and what is.  At certain times Hamblin reminds us that the past must be grasped even when it is profoundly regrettable, but in most of these compelling pieces the poet asks us to traverse his crossroads in search of what must be saved.  --Joseph Stanton, author of Imaginary Museums: Poems on Art

To order a copy of Crossroads, go to the Time Being Books web site.


Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season  (St. Louis: Time Being Books, 2007)

Robert Hamblin's Keeping Score is, indeed, an offering of "God's plenty," poems ranging, in subject, from childhood baseball to pole vaulting.  There is even one about pole vaulting.  It is, without question, the most comprehensive collection of sports poems, by one author, on the market.  And for anyone who cares about sport and poetry, Hamblin's words, like those of the early radio sportscasters he admired, are proclamations "from angelic messengers."  --Don Johnson, poet and editor of Hummers, Knucklers and Slow Curves

Robert Hamblin's Keeping Score celebrates the whole range of Homo ludens:  the player on the field or floor, the coach on the bench, the fan in the stands--the passion, the joy, the sorrow, the pathos.  As well, these delicately nuanced poems evoke the social, cultural, even theological implications of these games we Americans play and so intensely watch.  Every verse rings true, whether describing a jump shot, aging legs, or Ernie Harwell's mellow voice on the radio.  Readers of a certain age will find many poems like Proust's madeleine, releasing a flood of memories.  Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season massages the imagination.  --David Vanderwerken, editor of Sport Inside Out and Sport in the Classroom

These poems celebrate the highlights and humanity, the mighty and the miscreants, the Clementes and the calamities of sports--our beloved global pastime--and remind us via Hamblin's enviable gift for language that sports not only speak to us but through us.  --Susan Swartwout, author of Freaks and Uncommon Ground

To order a copy of Keeping Score, go to the Time Being Books web site.


  Mind the Gap: Poems by an American in London  (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2003)


Like Mark Twain, his fellow Missourian, Robert Hamblin takes readers on an adventuresome and imaginative journey of the city of Shakespeare, Dryden, Darwin, Mrs. Dalloway, Margaret Thatcher, a Falstaff-looking tramp who tries to bed a lass in a pub, and a whole host of other lively characters his camera-perfect eye captures for us.  His poems are witty and written in polished American English vernacular.  They sparkle with the piquant sincerity of a man who can exist in and bring into harmonious closure two different continents.  Since we can't take the Concorde to Heathrow anymore, I urge anglophiles everywhere to read and rejoice in Mind the Gap, which can get us to London even quicker and with more delights than the fabled plane that competed with sound for speed.  --Philip Kolin, editor of the Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia and author of numerous books, articles, and poems

Robert Hamblin's poems in this fine collection discover a London of the heart--a moveable and moving feast of reflections and observations--from Holland Park to Hyde Park, from Bloomsbury to Leicester Square, and all around the town.  He builds for us a richly memorable city of words that deserves repeated visits.  --Joseph Stanton, author of Imaginary Museum: Poems and Art and Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinal Baseball

To read these gentle, beautiful poems in one sitting, from beginning to end, is to submit yourself to the enchantment of poetic evocation, literature that transports the spirit and allows the mind to revel in heightened experiences.  Robert Hamblin works such magic in Mind the Gap, inviting us to travel with him, on his passionate journey through literary London and England ancient and modern.  But this book is no mere poetic travelogue.  Hamblin has fused images and memories from trips he's made to England, over a dozen years, into this book, allowing us to share in the fulfillment of a dream he had as boy growing up in the rural South: to visit the "scepter'd isle," to come under its spell.  --Louis Daniel Brodsky, author of Shadow War: A Poetic Chronicle of September 11 and Beyond and many other books


To order a copy of Mind the Gap, send $12, plus $3 for shipping and handling, to Southeast Missouri State University Press, Department of English, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

  From the Ground Up  (St. Louis: Time Being Books, 1992)

Robert Hamblin's voice is strong, clear, readable, and wise--full of realities, nostalgia, and timeless truths. He is a father showing us the path, a child eager to go, a best friend inviting us to join him along the way. His poems are crafted with gentleness and care. They will not leave us alone.--Charles Ghigna, Alabama School of Fine Arts

Robert Hamblin's poems, like his grandfather's clock, unwind in remarkable words, striking the half-hours and hours of memory, resonant with the past, as intricate as ticks. Speaking seminally of love, of truth, they march continuously toward that inevitable newness of old ground: the renewed intelligence of love.--Don Welch, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Robert Hamblin is a very personal poet who writes with deep feeling about commonplace events, members of his family, and places he has known as an adult. More poignantly, he remembers the summer when the road to town was paved, programs from Cincinnati radio station WCKY, and Saturday-afternoon movies featuring such cowboy stars as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. This important collection of his poetry deserves thoughtful reading.--Gerald Walton, University of Mississippi

Readers who are familiar with Hamblin's poems as they have appeared in various journals over the years will be delighted to have many of them together in one sustained lyrical narrative sequence that is rich with recollection and remembrance, transience and transcendence . . . These poems are strong with place, resonant with the sense of the numinous which lingers at the crossroads of history and family, past and present, loneliness and community, landscape and inscape.--H. R. Stoneback, State University of New York, College at New Paltz

To order a copy of From the Ground Up, go to the Time Being Books web site.


Perpendicular Rain . Cape Girardeau: Southeast Missouri State University, 1986.

Selected individual poems:

"Advice to a Young Poet."  Cape Rock, 30 (Spring 1995), 14-15.

"Always, Before Joy."  Cape Rock, 36 (Spring 2004), 41.

"Autumn at Woodland Hills Country Club." Cape Rock, 15 (Summer 1980), 49.

“Basketball Suite,” Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, 20 (Spring 2003).

"Big Apple." Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, 8 (Spring 1991), 92. 

"The Book Falls from My Hands." Cape Rock, 37.2 (2007), 40-41. 

“Dream Weaver.” Contemporary American Voices: A  Journal of Poetry (online), November 2007.

"For Dal, on the Fourth of July." Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, no. 42 (Fall 1992), 44-45.

"Front Porch."  Crossroads: A Journal of Southern Culture, 4 (Fall 1996/Winter 1997), 57-58.

"Groundskeepers: Opening Day." Elysian Fields Quarterly, 12 (Opening Day Issue 1993), 42.

"Half-Court Advantage."  Arete: The Journal of Sport Literature, 5 (Fall 1987), 179-180.

"London Rain."  The Listening Eye (Kent State University, Geauga Campus, Summer 1995).

"Mr. October." Elysian Fields Quarterly, 13 (Winter 1994), 34.

"Nevertheless."  Big Muddy 6.2 (2006): 120.

"On the Death of the Evansville University Basketball Team in a Plane Crash."  Cape Rock, 17 (Summer 1982), 40. Reprinted in Robert J. Higgs, Sports: A Reference Guide (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1982), and David L. Vanderwerken and Spencer K.Wertz, eds., Sport Inside Out: Readings in Literature and Philosophy (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1985).

"One Sunday in May."  The Listening Eye (Kent State University, Geauga Campus, 1996), 6.

"Pick and Roll." Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, 8 (Spring 1991), 14.

"Picking Strawberries."  Ozark Mountaineer, 49 (April-May 2001), 56.

"Poems." Cape Rock 37.2 (2007), 38-39.

"Running: Cape Girardeau, November 1993."  Cape Rock, 30 (Spring 1995), 16-17.

"The Suburbanite Reads the L.L. Bean Catalog."  Cape Rock, 39 (Spring 2009): 46.

"Taking Down the Ornaments."  Cape Rock, 39 (Spring 2009), 50.

"This Fall Day."  Cape Rock, 36 (Spring 2004), 40; Contemporary American Voices: A  Journal of Poetry (online), November 2007.

“Trees,” Cape Rock 35.1 (2002).

"The Way to Watch a Football Game."  Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, 19 (Fall 2001), 182.

“Winter Storm Watch.” Contemporary American Voices: A  Journal of Poetry (online), November 2007.


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