Synopses & Reviews
That art should once have been marked
with this delicacy: always only one
of each thing made, so that your poem
has its one life on the sheet
you have chosen for it, or the snapshot
of the birthday party, everything
in the room upended by the children's
jubilation, survives only
in the single defended piece of glass.
Rick Barot was born in the Philippines, and received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is the author of The Darker Fall and Want and teaches at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
"Barot (Want) demonstrates his mastery of image throughout this collection of meditative, personal poems in which language is a boat that 'cuts the water, like scissors/ into fabric.' At his best, Barot seamlessly weaves history, image, and etymology in ways that offer the reader new eyes to see language and the world it describes. In one poem, gardens become maps to explore the various incarnations of colonization, specifically the story of the speaker's grandmother and the Spanish friar who 'fucked her.' Barot's poems transfix and transform through his remarkable ability to pack and unpack narratives within the space of an image: 'the bird on the fence' takes on a brother and sister's lifelong relationship; 'the brown refrigerator' acts as a metaphor for how memory becomes 'tied to its embodiment' for a 'couple whose baby died.' In the multipart love poem 'Triptych,' the speaker asks for stories that are 'the raveling and unraveling/ of years' because he wants 'no ending,' and none is delivered to the reader. Barot's wonderful third collection presents the 'mind going/ over and over things, not knowing what to do/ with the world, but to turn it into something else.' (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Barot solidifies and extends his reputation as a meticulous, elegant, musical contemporary American poet.
About the Author
Rick Barot was born in the Philippines, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and received his MFA from the The Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. He is the author of The Darker Fall and Want and teaches at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.