A Sneak Peek into A Reader’s Companion to The Boxer of Quirinal

September 20, 2023

I’m delighted to share a gift with my newsletter subscribers: a complimentary Reader’s Companion to my latest poetry collection, The Boxer of Quirinal. In it, I do not explicate the poems; instead, I give a taste of the context in which I was writing — the circumstances that influenced each poem’s coming into being.

The Citizen at the End of the World: The Poet’s Role in Society

August 30, 2023
White man with white hair standing in front of a writing studio

Poetry and personal responsibility has always been a troubling issue for me — and for anyone, I think, who tries to reconcile the lives of poets with their poems.

The Death of Men Who Go Under the Sea

July 31, 2023
A photo of an iceberg.

It’s the stuff of bad dreams. Its comes to us again with the second Titanic sinking. There is no such punishment in Dante’s Inferno, but it lives in other poems. And it goes to sea with every sailor.

What people are saying about The Boxer of Quirinal

July 26, 2023
Photo of a man, John Barr, pulling his book of poetry, The Boxer of Quirinal, off a bookshelf

I’m writing with something to celebrate: Over 5,000 readers have added The Boxer of Quirinal to their to-read list on Goodreads!

The Boxer of Quirinal Is Here!

July 5, 2023
Photo of John Barr, a man, holding his book, The Boxer of Quirinal, in front of his chest

June 20th marked the official launch of my new book, The Boxer of Quirinal. The poems, written over ten years, explore challenges that all animals – from majestic herons to humble inchworms – face in their struggle to survive. But humanity must confront an additional obstacle: the eternal presence of war. So how do we live with that?

How to Recognize a Poet

June 28, 2023

To be a poet is to be attached to life by a different set of hooks.

An Homage to Emily

June 14, 2023

Emily Dickinson’s example permits all “Nobodies” to believe in their own work in spite of the world’s neglect. And I say, bless her for that.

The Importance of Metaphor

May 31, 2023
John Barr signinga book in 1991

Poetry is a manifestation of the human urge to make sense of chaos, to find unity and symmetry in external reality.

Form is Hunger

May 11, 2023
John pointing to a projection of his new book! (Photo taken by a family member.)

Thoughts about poetic form.

How to Give a Successful Poetry Reading

May 10, 2023
John Barr signinga book in 1991

Can you recall ever giving a poetry reading that might have gone better, or might better not have happened at all? It happens to all of us. Even marquee poets can remember the reading where no one came.

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As a welcome gift, I’ll send you a free eBook: A Reader’s Companion to The Boxer of Quirinal!