SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

Line Drives

Line Drives

100 Contemporary Baseball Poems

Add to Cart

Edited by Brooke Horvath and Tim Wiles. Foreword by Elinor Nauen


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
240 pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Writing Baseball


Additional Materials

About the Book

“We wait for baseball all winter long,” Bill Littlefield wrote in Boston Magazine a decade ago, “or rather, we remember it and anticipate it at the same time. We re-create what we have known and we imagine what we are going to do next. Maybe that’s what poets do, too.”

Poetry and baseball are occasions for well-put passion and expressive pondering, and just as passionate attention transforms the prose of everyday life into poetry, it also transforms this game we write about, play, or watch. Editors Brooke Horvath and Tim Wiles unite their own passion for baseball and poetry in this collection, Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems, providing a forum for ninety-two poets. Line after line, like baseball itself game after game and season after season, these poems manage to make the old and the familiar new and surprising.

The poems in these pages invite interrogation, and the reader—like the true baseball fan—must be willing to play the game, for these poems are fun, fresh, angry, nostalgic, meditative, and meant to be read aloud. They are keen on taking us deeply into baseball as sport and intent on offering countless metaphors for exploring history, religion, love, family, and self-identity. Each poem delivers images of pure beauty as the poets speak of murder and ghost runners and old ball gloves, of baseball as a tie that binds families—and indeed the nation—together, of the game as a stage upon which no-nonsense grit and skill are routinely displayed, and of the delight experienced in being one amid a mindlessly happy crowd. This book is true to the game’s long season and to the lives of those the game engages.


Brooke Horvath is a professor of English at Kent State University and the author of two collections of poetry—In a Neighborhood of Dying Light and Consolation at Ground Zero. He has served as a book review editor for Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.

Tim Wiles is the director of research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His baseball writings include a column, “Letters in the Dirt,” in the Cooperstown Freeman’s Journal and poems in Elysian Fields Quarterly and Fan.


Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems deserves a Hall of Fame nomination for the sheer number and variety of poems it anthologizes for the first time. The strongest praise, however, goes to the quality of the collection. These are fine poems by writers at the top of their game, and the editors’ introduction is both wise and heartfelt. A grand slam!”—Don Johnson, editor of Hummers, Knucklers, and Slow Curves: Contemporary Baseball Poems