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Wendy Barker author of One Blackbird at a Time
Barbara Ras author of The Last Skin
Sunday, January 31st 2016
About Wendy Barker: Wendy Barker began her teaching career in the public school system. She is currently Poet-in-Residence and the Pearl LeWinn Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she has taught since 1982. Author of five previous poetry collections, her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Wendy has one son and is married to the critic and biographer Steven G. Kellman.
About One Blackbird at a Time: Poetry winner of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, selected by Alice Friman. Barker's poems capture what life is like on the other side of the English teacher's desk, how she reacts to her students' lives and their genuine if not always reverential responses to the literature she aspires to teach. Barker's poems are funny, frightening, moving, and playful (as shown by the title's reference to Wallace Stevens' famous poem, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."
About Barbara Ras: Barbara Ras’s first book of poems, Bite Every Sorrow, won the Walt Whitman Award in 1997 and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She is currently the director of the Trinity University Press in San Antonio.
About The Last Skin: Barbara has won acclaim for fluid and graceful poems that touch on the small occurrences and mysteries of daily life in the hopes of finding the secret meaning beneath them. Both intimate and wide ranging, her work is unafraid of big subjects and big feelings, and sometimes comedic. Her third collection, The Last Skin, extends and develops these qualities, offering landscapes and characters both domestic and exotic, in poignant personal lyrics of precise description that investigate beauty, grief, death, fragility, time, and loss. Here is a poet engaged with the spirit as well as the political, blending the give and take of the world into her own ecstatic rhythms.