Travel has always been Barbara Hamby’s muse, and in Bird Odyssey she hits the road hard, riding a train across Siberia, taking a car trip from Memphis to New Orleans on Highway 61, and following The Odyssey from Troy to Ithaka. The concatenation of images released include Elvis and Tolstoy cruising through the sky in a pink Cadillac, Homer and Robert Johnson discussing their art in the Underworld, and the women in The Odyssey telling their side of the story, because what’s a woman to do in this world of men? She has to strike out on her own, ask the right questions, and tell her own story, translating the world into her own bright lie.
Past praise for Babel: One has only to read a few pages of Babel to feel in the presence of a poet with a unique, many-layered consciousness, and a few more pages to realize that her considerable verbal dexterity and mastery of tone are qualities she’s capable of sustaining. This is poetry that energizes, that dares to give us a high- wire performer’s notion of a good time.
Past praise for All-Night Lingo Tango: Reading Barbara Hamby is like savoring a fine multi-course meal. Her poems are thick and meaty, filled with savory details, but full of subtle nuances only realized on multiple reads. She fuses humor, pop culture, literature, travel, and romance in an ebullient mix that one can’t help devouring.
Hamby's poetry always takes us on a journey. . . . fun for all readers.
Barbara Hamby has published seven books of poetry, most recently BirdOdyssey and On the Street of Divine Love: New and Selected Poems. She was a 2010 Guggenheim fellow, and her book of linked stories, Lester Higata’s 20th Century, won the 2010 University of Iowa John Simmons Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press. She and her husband David Kirby edited the poetry anthology Seriously Funny. She teaches at Florida State University where she is distinguished university scholar.