When Doug Carloson bought a tiny old cottage on a bluff overlooking a beach at the eastern end of Lake Erie, he thought he was acquiring a holiday spot for his family and a writing retreat for himself. He got those, but he also ended up with something unexpected and enriching: a remarkable first-hand knolwedge of many natural forces. Wind, water currents, rain, and snow became daily facts as they steadily sliced away the precious feet of glacial moraine and clay separating the cottage from the bluff's edge. And as Carlson watched this inexorable collapse with the dual eyes of the landowner and the poet, 'At the Edge' emerged as a beautifully but grim testament to the strength and nature and the transitory, tentative claims that all people have upon her. Carlson's time at the lake comes to provide a mirror for other parts of his life.