Barter (Paperback)


By Monica Youn

Graywolf Press, 9781555973810, 64pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2003

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Barter exchanges history for myth, direct speech for epistles, activity for observation . . . breathtaking." —Claudia Rankine

Felix the Rat's hind feet
could be Barbie hands—
same pink, same
injection-molded seaming.—from "Electronica"

The poems in Barter, Monica Youn's exciting first collection, negotiate transactions between scarcity and excess, pornography and abstraction, the thing and the thing seen. Rendered with a dazzling array of structures and allusions, these poems describe—and become—a strange gallery of paintings and portraits. She offers a Polaroid left on a windshield, step-by-step instructions for "Drawing for Absolute Beginners," a stereoscope with a box of slides. Both an homage to and a warning against nonexistent things, Barter introduces a vibrant new voice and a new way of seeing.

About the Author

Monica Youn was raised in Houston, Texas. A former Stegner Fellow, she has published poems in numerous anthologies and journals, including Agni, Fence, and Poetry. She currently lives in Manhattan, where she is an intellectual property lawyer.

Praise For Barter: Poems

“[These poems] are disturbing because of the insidious links they find between seemingly disparate things. Youn's gaze plays stereoscopically over the field of such cultural artifacts (often lifted from the horror-show of feminine conditioning). The result is sly, deft, spooky, intriguing.” —Rae Armantrout