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'The Blues of Heaven': Barbara Ras Reads From Her Latest Poetry Collection

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Barbara Ras
Barbara Ras

In the poetry collection, The Blues of Heaven, Barbara Ras offers us a range of poems that move from subjects of personal grief to larger national concerns.

The blues of heaven, we can imagine, are hues by turns bright and beautiful or dark and foreboding — but also with a shimmering hopefulness as dazzling as Barbara Ras' idea of the world as a “blue ball spinning at a 1,000 mph.” As she says in her poem “My Cloak of Not Knowing,” the sky itself is “disguised by different weathers.” And so it is with the blues of heaven.

In this episode of Book Public, Barbara Ras reads from her poetry collection, The Blues of Heaven. The book is published by University of Pittsburgh Press.

Barbara Ras is the author of the poetry collection Bite Every Sorrow (winner of the Walt Whitman Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award), One Hidden Stuff, and The Last Skin.

She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, Granta, and Orion, as well as in other magazines and anthologies.

Ras has taught in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and at workshops nationally and internationally. She is the founding director emerita of Trinity University Press.

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Yvette Benavides can be reached at bookpublic@tpr.org.