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Bye-Bye Land

132 pages54 minutes


In 2016, Barter was named Acadia National Park's first-ever Poet Laureate, in honor of the park's Centennial year.

Barter has been honored with many prestigious awards and accolades, including the Isabella Gardner Award from BOA Editions; the 2014 Maine Literary Award for the year’s best book of poetry published in Maine; a 2010 residency fellowship at The McDowell Colony; a 2009 residency fellowship at Yaddo; a 2008-2009 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University; finalist for the 2006 Lenore Marshall Prize; and finalist for the 2005 Independent Publishers’ Book of the Year.

Barter's poetic voice, with allusive monologues and rich lyricism undercut by deep skepticism, can be likened to such modernist luminaries as T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Michael Broek, and Frank Bidart. His long monologues and the ways in which his speakers talk can, at times, feel utterly outside of poetry.

This collection borrows heavily from Eliot’s methods in The Wasteland, particularly the way he mixes voices, contrasting high and low diction throughout.

There is something ironically refreshing about Barter's preference for modern fundamentals versus contemporary, that his work shows more influence by Lowell, Eliot, and Frost than, say, Sharon Olds and Terrance Hayes. Barter's work is deeply reminiscent of our poetic predecessors.

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