Archive for the ‘Nothing Between Us’ Tag

Capturing the Word — Wendy Barker   1 comment

Images by kenne

Wendy seems like a close friend. We have met only on special occasions. Birthday parties,  Emily Dickinson birthday parties. So often over the years, Wendy is my picture of Emily. Why not? I have photos of Wendy on those special occasions when we shared our appreciation and love for Emily Dickinson’s poetry. As much as I may love poetry, it is the spoken word that really touches me. Only then can I see the poets mannerisms, hear the voice annunciation and feel the emotions of the moment. Wendy came to fill the void through which Emily and I have become friends. Wendy has added color to sepia, she is my muse.

So, it’s no wonder that when Wendy was schedule to read her own poetry at a Writers In Performance Series last December, I could help but feel that Emily Dickinson was coming to read Wendy Barker. Think about it. How wonderful! My muse meets the goddess.

At the December series, Wendy read from her recent novel in prose poems, Nothing Between Us. For this “Capturing the Word” posting, I have chosen to share Wendy’s prose poem, “Sunday Morning, Go for A Drive:”

Up the coast. Or down. Bring the binoculars. Get out of town. Breathe.
Always hungry before we got where we were going. Stinson Beach,
Bolinas, Point Reyes. Greg would want a big meal—two cheeseburgers,
double order of fries, a full pitcher of Bud. I’d want a tuna sandwich,
banana, orange juice. No matter how I’d try to focus the binos,
no matter what rock I scrambled up on, I could never spot the bird I
wanted to see up close. Feathers confused among breaches and twigs.
The wind off the water roughing my hair. And Greg’s voice, breath
smelling of tannic acid, saying hurry it up, time to go.


Wendy Barker – “Nothing Between Us”   3 comments

Wendy Barker , Writers In Performance Series Appearances -by kenne

“We missed you,” I said as we began the drive from the airport.

“It was like missing a major family reunion,” she replied, about her not attending last year’s annual celebration of Emily Dickinson’s birthday. Not having Wendy at our annual party was like not having a birthday cake.

As we talked, we tried to remember how many years she has been a part of the Emily Dickinson panel discussion and the poetry reading at the Corner Pub – most of this decade, we agreed. The conversation continued at a pace driven by so much to share in so little time as if we could make up for time lost.

One might conclude that making up for time lost was why Wendy was arriving the day before the annual Emily Dickinson birthday celebration. To read her own poetry that evening. Even though she had become synonymous with the Writers In Performance Series, Wendy had never read strictly from her own poetry, which was about to change that evening. Now it was going to be Wendy’s turn to do Wendy and not Emily.

On the evening of her solo series performance, Wendy read primarily from her most recent work, Nothing Between Us – The Berkeley Years, a  novel in prose poetry published by Del Sol Press. The book focuses on the late sixties, a period of time that was both explosive and exciting in our culture’s history. Before reading from the book, Wendy provided a synopsis of the times, which set the stage for her beautifully penetrating prose poems.

So impressed with her outline of the sixties, the video I have prepared contains a précis of her preface to the reading and the prose poem, “Teaching Uncle Tom’s Children.”

One of my joys over the years of being involved in the Writers In Performance Series has been photographing almost all the series, which includes numerous Wendy images. With each, I have tried to capture the essence of this talented writer – not an easy task since so much of her work is made more elegant with the combination of skill, ease, and grace of her spoken word. Hopefully, this video will allow you to experience the essence of her elegance.

— kenne

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