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Harness of Bone

May 2, 2019

I am proud to announce a new book forthcoming from Barleybooks

Front Cover 29 March

Sometimes I look for a plowed field to walk through

the earth turned over in such a way 

that I might recognize some root

of my own memory

… …

I read in the newspaper

of an eight year old

in a refugee camp

who talked of suicide 

in a quiet ordinary voice

— two extracts from Who Might We Ask, the first of twenty-seven new poems in this twelfth collection from San Francisco poet and activist Beau Beausoleil. The cover image by Somerset artist Fiona Hingston beautifully matches the wintry starkness and clarity of these poems with their themes of heartache, rage and transcendence.

Here are beautiful laments for the lost ones—parents, a son, an eight-year-old refugee who talks about suicide “in a quiet ordinary voice.” Beausoleil’s direct, declarative syntax and precise images hold our private and collective griefs in ways both vivid and mysterious.

– Julie Bruck, winner of the Canada Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry 2012

I can’t say what makes [Beausoleil’s] work so good, which is a good part of what makes it remarkable. I think it starts with [his] qualities as a person. And from there, the lines … do such interesting things … They express the abstract and the concrete at the same time.

– Eric Whittington, owner of Bird & Beckett Bookshop, San Francisco

Let me speak of this book through one of its poems: In “The Precise Moment,” the poet, overcome, again, by loss, begins to weep in the middle of the post office where he is waiting in line to buy stamps. It is, as is this book, a portrait of the way grief is nothing, then suddenly, all, compelling our tears from their beds the way the moon pulls, as Beausoleil writes, at the sleeve of the ocean. But as grief comes, this book teaches, so comes the poem to reply, to continue past breakage and loss — to live.

– Richard Harrison, winner of the Canada Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry 2017

Hand-stitched pamphlet, 6″x8.5″, 44 pages, edition of 200

To be published June 2019

Price until 31st May £10/$15 p&p free

Price after 1st June £10/$15 plus p&p at cost

Inquiries: Americas and Canada:
UK and rest of world:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mavinabaker permalink
    May 3, 2019 4:59 pm

    Hello Ama,
    I do enjoy keeping up with your blog, especially reading your remarks about BABE this year as I couldn’t get to it. I’d like to get a copy of Beau’s and your latest project, Harness of Bone, please let me know how we can arrange this.
    All the best

  2. May 3, 2019 5:02 pm

    Lovely to hear from you, Mavina. I’ll email you.

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