Winner of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, 1994. Barbara Hamby makes her poems out of jokes, Italian phrases, quotes from saints and philosophers, references to meals eaten and wines drunk. In a fluid, compelling voice, she sets a stage, peoples it with real and imagined characters, spins them into dizzying motion, and then makes everything disappear as with a wave of a conjurer's wand, leaving the reader to wonder, Did that happen, or did I dream it? One leaves her poetry the way one leaves a dark theater on a July afteron, convinced that the ordinary passions really won't do they need to be larger, as large as they are in these poems.
Barbara Hamby was born in New Orleans and was raised in Hawai'i. She is a poet, fiction writer, editor, and critic. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Paris Review, Western Humanities Review, and Negative Capability. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida.