The Writer’s Center welcomes John Barr for a virtual discussion of his new poetry collection, The Boxer of Quirinal. John is in conversation with poet Susan Kinsolving.
Free and open to the public, limited space, registration required.
Over the past 30 years, John Barr‘s poems have been published in five books, four fine press editions and many magazines, including The New York Times, Poetry and others. He was also the Inaugural President of the Poetry Foundation. His newest book, The Boxer of Quirinal, was published by Red Hen Press in June 2023. You can view more of his work at johnbarrpoetry.com and on Instagram (@johnbarrpoetry).
Susan Kinsolving’s fourth book of poems is Peripheral Vision. Her previous books from Grove Press are The White Eyelash and Dailies & Rushes, a finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award. Among Flowers was published by Clarkson Potter at Random House. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, Kirkus Reviews, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and Publishers Weekly.
About the Books
The Boxer of Quirinal: All animals struggle to survive. In John Barr’s poems, the success of the heron hunting, the albatross breeding, and the inchworm spinning give proof of life. But for us, that struggle includes the eternal presence of war. Does the fall of Rome, the Battle of Shiloh, the Normandy Landings––and today’s wars––give proof of life or only of the struggle?
Peripheral Vision goes behind the scenes in a military hospital, an elementary school, and a disturbed family. Susan Kinsolving’s poems were described in the New Yorker as “grand and almost terrifying.” In this new collection, she proves herself again. Exploring the world from many points of view, Kinsolving takes her readers to England, Hollywood, Wyoming, France, and Chile. In idiosyncratic homages, she invokes Neruda, Bishop, Clare, Frost, and Dickinson, along with Helen Keller and Odilon Redon. While referencing fact or history, she attacks with “a startling backhand of wit and irony,” as noted once in the New York Times Book Review. She writes poignantly to a daughter in Hollywood and acerbically to an ex-husband. Her family’s most disastrous Thanksgiving is described in a funny piece, “Fill the Cavity with Crumbs.” In “The Case of the Carrot,” she reports on an absurd legal action in family court. All Kinsolving’s poems demonstrate a keen love of language, its dimensions of meaning and musicality of sound. Each poem is a pleasure.