Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ros Barber (1964 - present)

Ros Barber (born 1964) is a British poet and writer. Barber was born in Washington D.C., where her father was working for the US government, and grew up in Essex, later moving to Sussex to study for a Biology degree. Both parents are physicists by training, and Barber has a strong interest in science and mathematics which comes through in the formal aspects of many of her poems. 

Her first full collection of poetry, How Things Are On Thursday (Anvil, 2004) came after seventeen years of appearing frequently in anthologies, poetry magazines and prize shortlists. Not the Usual Grasses Singing (Four Shores, 2005), the result of a public art commission, is a book about the Isle of Sheppey written entirely in rhyming couplets. Her next book from Anvil, Material, is due to be published in early 2008. She also writes fiction. 

Many of Barber's personal poems are concerned with the constrained expression of high emotion; she works frequently in form (both rhyme and metre), and conveys human difficulties with honesty, directness, and a wry, dark humour. She is well known in the South of England for her public poetry commissions, which are largely site-specific or place based, connecting landscapes or urban environments to their histories. 
Writing in a richly imagistic but accessible style, and adept and transferring both her voice and the voices of others to the page, Barber is also a striking performer of her own work. 

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