Chicago’s Ed Roberson is a self-described nature poet inspired by his travels to far flung locales. Although he is a poet, he also pursues the field of limnology: the study of inland waters. (A fine pursuit for a resident of the Great Lakes region.) His adventures —mountain treks in the Peruvian Andes, geographical investigations in West Africa —sound more like the work of a 19th century explorer than those of a Northwestern professor. Although Roberson writes about remote corners of Alaska and the Amazon, he sometimes turns his poet’s lens on his own city. For example: “Nine Chicago Poems,” a selection from his book To See the Earth Before the End of the World (Wesleyan University Press, 2010).