Gunpowder Press is honored to publish Barry Spacks’s final manuscript. A master poet and mentor, Barry published eleven books of poetry during his lifetime, including Spacks Street (Johns Hopkins Press, 1982) which won the Commonwealth Club of California’s Poetry Medal. He was selected to be Santa Barbara’s first official poet laureate in 2005.
Laughter in wisdom, spirit in things, bread and imagination—there is an omnivorous, generous quality in Barry Spacks’ late poems, as in Barry’s presence.
—Robert Pinsky, United States Poet Laureate (1997 – 2000)
Compassionate, concise, sometimes comic, always on point, irresistible, wise, this book of poems, each in itself a profound pleasure to read, becomes as a whole also a manual of how to inhabit this world. It offers the mind, words, voice, and perceptions of a fully humane and fully human being.
—Jane Hirshfield, author of Come, Thief and The Beauty
I have loved the poetry of Barry Spacks ever since I began reading him some forty years ago—to the point of taping poems of his above my desk. You sense in every one of them the presence of a particular spirit—a spirit of great humor and great seriousness, honesty and wit, immersed in and sharply observing his life and those who have touched it…. What beautiful, singular, open-eyed and open-hearted poems these are. I will treasure them always.
—Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life and Our Story Begins
Barry Spacks is a wizard of compassion, wisdom—and the seamless fabric between them—in the guise of a comedian. While we are laughing or dazzled, a wise and caring presence is filling and softening our hearts, taking us on flights of the imagination which land in a new place we are surprised to discover is the kingdom of our better selves. Quite simply, his poems nurture our desire to go on living.
—Dan Gerber, author of A Primer on Parallel Lives and Sailing through Cassiopeia