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Catherine Barnett

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Catherine Barnett

Catherine Barnett was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied at Princeton University and at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

Barnett is the author of Human Hours (Graywolf Press, 2018); The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012), which was the recipient of the 2012 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; and Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004).

Of Barnett's work, April Bernard has noted, "With subtle and cumulative force, The Game of Boxes builds a complex poetic structure in which fundamental questions about motherhood, trust, eroticism, and spiritual meaning are posed and then set into motion in relation to one another. The mind is delighted, the spirit enthralled, by this wonderful book."

Her awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers' Award. She also works as an independent editor and as Writer-in-Residence at the Children's Museum of Manhattan, where she teaches writing to mothers in the shelter system.

Barnett has been the Visiting Poet at Barnard College and teaches at the New School and New York University.


Bibliography

Human Hours (Graywolf Press, 2018)
The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012) 
Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004)

multimedia

Catherine Barnett: Poets Forum Awards Ceremony Reading

Catherine Barnett: Poets Forum Reading

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by this poet

poem
My son took a picture of me
jumping the cemetery wall. Do it again,
he said, as if I'd got out too fast.
Pretend you're really climbing.

In the retake my lazy eye is half shut,
and the other is smiling or crying.
poem

Enchantée, says the key in my hand.
When I try to turn it, it turns to sand.

Time is an upgrade, says the front desk.
Reserved for our most valued guests.

Time is an anemone, says the new hire.
Enemy. Amenity. Profanity. Dire.

Whatever you’ve forgotten,
they provide.

poem

What do you need? the Quiet Man asked
when I knocked again at his door.

What do you want?
He was closing up.

I don’t know, I said.
Woolf, Anbesol, Baldwin, Keats,

I’ll take anything.
I knew sometimes he slept right there in his shop,

with blankets on the bottom shelf,