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Realities: Poems 2007 to 2015
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Barbara Mabry's new collection of poems Realities extends her celebration of life and living beyond the many excellent poems in her 2007 publication, In My Own Voice. This is poetry that is heartfelt, at times heart wrenching - verses that showcase the light and darkness that infiltrates our lives and resides in our hearts, that reflect on the loss of a beloved daughter to Cystic Fibrosis but also on the love and joy of family togetherness, of fun, of being afraid of the steady passage of time while finding courage and being aware and grateful for the miracle of life itself in all its forms. Crafted by a master wordsmith, Mabry's poetry is refreshing, infused with humor and a sense of adventure.
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I went first to the poem, Sheep, since I'm still a shepherd, and I was delighted. I read it to Ed McClanahan over the phone. But I have also read with pleasure the poems in your new book (Realities), and I admire especially the elegy Green Hope (the last three lines of that poem are marvelous) and the autobiographical poem Pioneer. Green Hope moves bravely from great sorrow to a consolation, both difficult and welcome, as an elegy must. In Pioneer you are a story teller, and you have a born story teller's knack for humor and the right details. --from a letter by Wendell Berry to the author. Mr. Berry is a well-known Kentucky farmer, poet, essayist, short story writer, speaker, and environmentalist. Barbara Mabry's new book of poems Realities extends her celebration of life and living beyond the many excellent poems in her 2007 publication In My Own Voice. These new poems reflect on the loss of a beloved daughter to Cystic Fibrosis but also on the love and joy of family togetherness and fun, of being aware and grateful for the miracle of life itself in all of its forms. There is humor too, throughout, and one can easily imagine the outright laughter. These are wonderful poems. -- Loyal Jones, author of several books, including those on humor and Appalachia, and mentor to many. Like her corduroys in Britches Barbara's poems will grab you by the seat of your pants. -- Frank X Walker, poet, essayist, professor, Editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture.

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