Barbara Crooker is the author of eight books of poetry, including Les Fauves and The Book of Kells. Her first book, Radiance, won the 2005 Word Press First Book Award and was finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance, her second book, won the 2009 Paterson Award for Excellence in Literature. Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian Americana and has received a number of awards, including the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.
Some Glad Morning, Barbara Crooker’s ninth book of poetry, teeters between joy and despair, faith and doubt, the disconnect between lived experience and the written word. Primarily a lyric poet, Crooker is in love with the beauty and mystery of the natural world, even as she recognizes its fragility. But she is also a poet unafraid to write about the consequences of our politics, the great divide. She writes as well about art, with ekphrastic poems on paintings by Hopper, O’Keeffe, Renoir, Matisse, Cézanne, and others. Many of the poems are elegaic in tone, an older writer tallying up her losses. Her work embodies Bruce Springsteen’s dictum, “it ain’t no sin to be glad we’re alive,” as she celebrates the explosion of spring peonies, chocolate mousse, a good martini, hummingbirds’ flashy metallics, the pewter light of September, Darryl Dawkins (late NBA star), saltine crackers. While she recognizes it might all be about to slip away, “Remember that nothing is ever lost,” she writes, and somehow, we do.