J.T. Barbarese's most recent book of poems is the The Black Beach (UNT, 2005). His poetry, translations and literary journalism have appeared widely. He teaches poetry and fiction in the MFA Program at Rutgers University's Campus at Camden and is the editor of Story Quarterly. His web page is available at crab.rutgers.edu/~barbares.
By this Author
Lessons of a back yard
A (South Philly) child's garden of verses
In the tiny South Philadelphia back yard where I grew up, something very important was transpiring. Only nobody realized it, least of all me.
The trouble with government arts grants
Arts funding: It's all fixed (and everyone prefers it that way)
So you think the new Pew Fellowships procedures are flawed? Try negotiating the political thicket of government arts councils. For one thing, taste is never objective. For another, great artists aren't necessarily good citizens or even nice people. Small wonder that most art contests are implicitly fixed in the first place.
Help me make it through the night
A hard rain, and no escape: The forgotten man's lament
When you're a blue-collar guy living paycheck-to-paycheck, without a sophisticated worldview or even a car or credit cards, how do you respond to impending natural disaster or nuclear holocaust? For that matter, what do you do when the military sends you to fight overseas?