Overview



A third collection from a poet whose "beautiful sentences weave the miraculous and mundane into a single, luminous tapestry" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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. ...

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The Last Skin

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Overview



A third collection from a poet whose "beautiful sentences weave the miraculous and mundane into a single, luminous tapestry" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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.



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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Walt Whitman Award winner Ras's third collection (after One Hidden Stuff) features elegies, love poems, and poems about the everyday and the exotic, including several about Kraków, one about Alaska—"Sitka, Graveyard"—and an entire section devoted to Lake Titicaca, high in the Andes. What makes these poems so captivating is that Ras is both a thinking and a feeling poet: "Frailty everywhere, in the loops/ of blood traveling 12,000 miles of veins a day." The travelog poems reveal a discriminating eye that examines the intersection of the ordinary and the extraordinary, and metaphors are Ras's strong suit ("the lake's obsessive licking"). Occasionally, though, she includes a too familiar phrase (e.g., "ghost of a chance"). Her love for the long, extended sentence can work well, as in the one-page, one-sentence "Pigeons, a Love Poem," but the three long sentences in "Ventriloquism" careen around various topics and slow the poem's pulse. Ras is best when she celebrates life's small wonders, as she does for irises: "We walked silently, numb to their braggadocios/ their arias, their manic flutes." VERDICT A very accomplished collection that will intrigue and surprise; for most readers of contemporary poetry.—Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101222898
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Series: Poets, Penguin
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • File size: 121 KB

Meet the Author

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.


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