Synopses & Reviews
“Composed in an oblique, postmodern style, the poems in Barry's first book reveal a dysfunctional global society where young women are still circumcised, a teenager is near bludgeoned to death in her own bed, African Americans are routinely brutalized, and Siamese twins somehow survive the horrible after-effects of Agent Orange. For Barry, too, is a survivor, as she confesses in her brilliant autobiographical poem, “Child of the Enemy,” the centerpiece of this collection. The poet empathizes with all the abused and marginalized characters in the book because she is an American with “shame/on the dark meat” of her face. Her remarkable poems are studded with allusions to the Bible, Bob Dylan, Osip Mandelstam, and Yukio Mishima. The titles are dazzling, running the gamut from mathematical equations to cartoon characters. Barry holds these disparate poems together with her strongly original voice, her carefully nuanced tone, and her surprising metaphors, like the “blue scripts” of rivers. Highly recommended for large public libraries and academic libraries.”
Winner of the 2000 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, a stunning debut collection revealing a mature complexity of craft and an original sophisticated vision.
About the Author
Quan Barry is the author of three poetry collections: Asylum
and Water Puppets
. She is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she directs the MFA program in creative writing.