Monthly Meeting – March 7, 2019

Where the Poems Come From

Dr. Wendy Barker will read selections from her many collections of poems, from Winter Chickens (1990) through Nothing Between Us (2009) to One Blackbird at a Time (2015), as well as some new, not-yet-published work.

With each poem, she will explain the experience in her life that led to its creation, demonstrating how the “material” for poems – or any form of creative writing – can be there, right there, no farther than the kitchen counter or the classroom or the drive home.

As she reads from Nothing Between Us, which she calls “a novel in prose poems,” she will talk about the way she fictionalized her often R-rated experiences in West Berkeley in the late 1960s, composing the pieces as prose poems or flash fiction.

Wendy Barker is a recipient of NEA and Rockefeller fellowships among other awards, and is the Pearl LeWinn Endowed Chair and Poet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she has taught since 1982. Her sixth collection of poetry, One Blackbird at a Time, received the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry (BkMk Press, 2015). Her fourth chapbook is From the Moon, Earth is Blue (Wings Press, 2015). A fifth chapbook, Shimmer, is forthcoming in 2019 from Glass Lyre Press.

An anthology of poems about the 1960s, Far Out: Poems of the ’60s, co-edited with Dave Parsons, was released by Wings Press in 2016. Other books include a selection of poems with accompanying essays, Poems’ Progress (Absey & Co., 2002), and a selection of translations, Rabindranath Tagore: Final Poems (co-translated with Saranindranath Tagore, Braziller, 2001).

Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Southern Review, Nimrod, New Letters, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and Plume, as well as The Best American Poetry 2013. She is the author of Lunacy of Light: Emily Dickinson and the Experience of Metaphor (Southern Illinois University Press, 1987), as well as co-editor (with Sandra M. Gilbert) of The House is Made of Poetry: The Art of Ruth Stone (Southern Illinois University Press, 1996).

Come early for coffee and to meet and chat with other writers before the program, which will begin at 7 PM.

St. Andrew’s Methodist Church, 722 Robinhood Place, San Antonio, TX, 78209