Three veteran Twin Cities poets each read from their new 2019 books --Ethna McKiernan (Swimming With Shadows), Cary Waterman (Threshold: New and Selected Poems) and Pat Barone (Your Funny, Funny Face).
Ethna McKiernan has been twice awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant in poetry, most recently in 2011 for the completion of Sky Thick With Fireflies. McKiernan’s first book Caravan (Dedalus Press and Midwest Villages & Voices, Minneapolis) was a Minnesota Book Award Nominee. Of her second book, The One Who Swears You Can’t Start Over (Salmon Poetry), The Bloomsbury Review wrote, “McKiernan seems to write because she has to, and graces her verse with resonance because she can. She stands out among the ranks of poets for her ability to match language to subject, sound to sense.” McKiernan ran an Irish book distribution business (Irish Books and Media) for over two decades and has worked the past four years for a non-profit serving the Minneapolis homeless.
Cary Waterman is the author of five books of poetry. Her most recent book, Book of Fire, was a 2012 finalist for the Midwest Book Award and was selected by the Minnesota Women’s Press for their BookWomen Center for Feminist Reading Retreat. Her previous collection, When I Looked Back You Were Gone, was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Her poems are included in the recent anthologies, Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present and Where One Voice Ends, Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry.
Pat Barone’s new book of poetry, Your Funny, Funny Face, illuminates the passages of a marriage and its many revelations of desire and mortality. In stunning language, Barone reflects on all the transformations we make as women, partners and mothers. Poignant and wise in the telling of her loss, we see sorrow as one more way to find tenderness and newly recognized wonder. There is a luminous harmony in this couples’ voices, but also honesty in their ‘backward forward dream’. This is a testament about how one makes a map together with a loved one. A truly beautiful book.