Books in Common NW: Barbara Ras & Naomi Shihab Nye

Books in Common NW is excited to explore the tightly constructed, and complex new poetry collection The Blues of Heaven with poets Barbara Ras and Naomi Shihab Nye. Exploring memory, risk, yearning, and loss, Ras weaves a deft picture of both current affairs, and recollections of the past with her wise humor for a fierce new body of work.

"The Blues of Heaven, by Barbara Ras, radiates with immense tenderness—here are poems of vivid painterly wonderment, perfect pacing and weight, elegantly woven counterpoints of shimmering imagery. How does she do this? A book of infinite love and depth."

--- Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Everything Comes Next

In The Blues of Heaven, Barbara Ras delivers her characteristic subjects with new daring that both rattles and beguiles. Here are poems of grief over her brother's death; doors to an idiosyncratic working-class childhood among Polish immigrants; laments for nature and politics out of kilter. Ras portrays the climate crisis, guns out of control, the reckless injustice and ignorance of the United States government. At the same time, her poems nimbly focus on particulars--these facts, these consequences--bringing the wreckage of unfathomable harm home with immediacy and integrity. Though her subjects may be dire, Ras also weaves her wise humor throughout, moving deftly from sardonic to whimsical to create an expansive, ardent, and memorable book.


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Thu. Jun. 10, 2021   7:30pm

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