English Professor Jennifer Barber’s latest book of poetry, Given Away, views the contemporary world through the lens of Biblical psalms, the natural world, medieval history, and spiritual dimensions of lightness and darkness.
Barber is the founding and current editor of the literary journal Salamander, now in its 20th year. She teaches English and Creative Writing in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The new poetry collection draws upon Barber’s study of medieval literature in England as a Rhodes Scholar. The poems travel from cities in Southern Spain to rural New England. Her lyrical meditations on the soul illuminate the process of searching for a self that may already be “given away” in the smallest of moments, like “light slanting through the trees.”
Barber’s poems have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Upstreet, Fulcrum, Field, Harvard Review, Orion, Shenandoah, Jewish Forward, Georgia Review, Poetry, Take Three: 3, Agni New Poet Series (Graywolf Press), Four Way Reader #2 (Four Way Books), and After Shocks: Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events (Santa Lucia Books).
Barber’s first book, Rigging the Wind, won the Kore Press First Book Award in 2003. She has also received a Pushcart Prize, Heinrich Böll Cottage Residency, St. Botolph Grant-in-Aid, Bruce Rossley Emerging Voices Award, and the 2008 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award.