Ned Balbo's 2004 Sandeen Prize-winning collection of poetry seeks a voice for contemporary and historical figures as they face the ecstasy and grief of love. In these assured and powerful poems, Balbo's confidence in lyric, narrative, and dramatic forms is always evident: lovers whirl in Dante's circle, saints suffer for their faith, and characters from Hitchcock films are caught in traps of their own making. With energy and insight, Balbo gives us Alice Liddell's last word on Lewis Carroll's infatuation, a Victorian heroine who uncovers a wax museum's hidden crimes, and a bestiary where courtship rituals are both savage and redemptive. Lives of the Sleepers explores the connections of men and women across the centuries, and interrogates those patterns that always reassert themselves. These sleepers are joined in a dialogue that transcends any one era. The joy of their connection and the grief of their separation also reflect the history of our own age.
NED BALBO's first poetry collection, Galileo's Banquet, was awarded the Towson University Prize for Literature. Balbo has also received the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award, the John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize, and an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. He has been a fellow in poetry at the Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review, Dogwood, and many other publications. He teaches at Loyola College in Baltimore.