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“These poems impress with the enormous and energetic distances they travel. More impressive, however, is the focus they show on arrival. We are everywhere, but everywhere is distinctly somewhere—and often dangerous. These words are the essence of displacement. Yet these poems do not stop there, are not so easy on themselves, speaking in a clear voice for the new as well as the past. They relentlessly address their—and our—changing and unchanging world against the loose backdrop of Vietnamese water puppet theater, whose imaginative traditions show themselves in repeatedly memorable moments. These poems may move on water, but their voices do not falter.”
—Alberto Álvaro Ríos
“Some will find Barry’s subjects—genocidal war, pornography, the slaughter of Thanksgiving turkeys—disconcerting, but she treats them with a candor, persistence, and tonal control that aims to question and comprehend rather than simply indict or dismiss. An engrossing collection.”
“What I appreciate about Barry is that she’s always pushing herself poetically to try different forms. . . . Another powerful work by Barry.”
—Asian American Literature
Quan Barry is the author of two previous poetry collections: Asylum and Controvertibles. She is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she directs the MFA program in creative writing.