Works on Paper

Like masterful drawings, Jennifer Barber's Works on Paper calls our attention to every carefully executed line. Spare, suggestive, their images speak both for and beyond the fragility of existence. Seamlessly fusing an often autumnal natural world with delicate evocations of illness, grief, and love, Barber offers us “collisions of light and dark” that are “impossible to divide.” The poet knows that “Nothing will be saved”; but for us and for future readers, these beautiful poems will linger.

—Martha Collins

Formally agile and tersely emotive, the poems of Jennifer Barber's Works on Paper—about a life of the mind, mature love, family, profound loss, and the poet's affinity for the natural world—brim with crisp imagery and sonic precision. To give over to the trustworthy intelligence of these poems, to inhabit the world as Barber sees and painstakingly recreates it, is to come away gratified, and graced by the poet's immense and intricate gifts. Works on Paper is a brilliant and virtuosic book, unflinching in its incisiveness.

—Maggie Dietz