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Controvertibles (Pitt Poetry Series)

Quan Barry


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Controvertibles features more of the refined brilliance and delicate lyricism of this poet, cast in a more meditative mode. Throughout, she examines cultural objects by lifting them out of their usual settings and repositioning them in front of new, disparate backdrops. Doug Flutie's famous Hail Mary pass and Rutger Hauer's role in Blade Runner are contextualized within the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Bob Beamon's world-record-setting long jump in the 1968 Olympics is slowed down and examined in the style of The Matrix's revolutionary bullet time.

Samantha Smith, Richard Nixon, the Shroud of Turin, Igor Stravinsky, the largo from Handel's Xerxes, the resurrection of Lazarus, and the groundbreaking 1984 Apple Computer Super Bowl commercial are among the many disparate people and objects Barry uses to explore the multifaceted nature of existence.

Praise For Controvertibles (Pitt Poetry Series)

“Barry offers up a difficult but necessary poetry best described as a study in contrasts. . . . Recommended . . . for feminist and academic collections.”
--Library Journal

“The poems in Quan Barry’s book, Controvertibles . . . take disparate topics and by paring them achieve a new level of understanding of the self in the world. . . . The book’s energy level remains tirelessly high throughout.”
--Rain Taxi

“An experimental book with considerable zip. . . . An authentic lyricism burns through to great effect.”

—Cold Mountain Review

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822958604, 72pp.

Publication Date: September 26, 2004

About the Author

Quan Barry is the author of two previous poetry collections: Asylum and Controvertibles. She is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she directs the MFA program in creative writing.