Friends — while we’re gearing up to write we can also read something. Read something by a friend or a stranger. Read something by a stranger who became a friend.
A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of Gloss, the new poetry collection by Wendy Barker. It’s fantastically good. I met Wendy at Chevaliers Books in LA a few years ago at a reading organized by my writing teacher, poet extraordinaire Carolyne Wright. I don’t generally like people right away, but I liked Wendy instantly. She’s this interesting combination of charm and no bullshit. She has a fancy academic position at the University of Texas, San Antonio, but she doesn’t ever say anything about that.
Although I make poems, I don’t love all poetry, and I have spoken to friends and students about how tough poetry world is. But I really like what Wendy does, and I appreciate how kind and encouraging she is to fellow-writers.
Take a look at some of her work online. She’s been quietly compiling quite an oeuvre.