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Three Graywolf Titles Longlisted for the National Book Awards: Abundance by Jakob Guanzon for Fiction, The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández for Translated Literature, and The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser for Poetry

Book Title

Human Hours

Subtitle
Poems
Author 1
Catherine Barnett
Poem Excerpt
Look at these books: hope.
Look at this face: hope.
When I was young I studied with Richard Rorty, that was lucky,
I stared out the window and couldn't understand a word he said,
he drew a long flat line after the C he gave me,
the class was called Metaphysics and Epistemology,
that's eleven syllables, that’s
hope hope hope hope hope hope hope hope hope hope hope.
—from “O Esperanza!”
 
Body
Catherine Barnett's tragicomic third collection, Human Hours, shuttles between a Whitmanian embrace of others and a kind of rapacious solitude. Barnett speaks from the middle of hope and confusion, carrying philosophy into the everyday. Watching a son become a young man, a father become a restless beloved shell, and a country betray its democratic ideals, the speakers try to make sense of such departures. Four lyric essays investigate the essential urge and appeal of questions that are “accursed,” that are limited—and unanswered—by answers. What are we to do with the endangered human hours that remain to us? Across the leaps and swerves of this collection, the fevered mind tries to slow—or at least measure—time with quiet bravura: by counting a lover’s breaths; by remembering a father’s space-age watch; by envisioning the apocalyptic future while bedding down on a hard, cold floor, head resting on a dictionary. Human Hours pulses with the absurd, with humor that accompanies the precariousness of the human condition. 
 

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List Price
$16.00
ISBN
ISBN
978-1-55597-814-3
Format
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Publication Date
Subject
Subject
Pages
Pages
112
Trim Size
Trim Size
6.5 x 9
Keynote
The triumphant follow-up collection to The Game of Boxes, winner of the James Laughlin Award
 

About the Author

Catherine  Barnett
Credit: Jacqueline Mia Foster
Catherine Barnett is the author of three poetry collections, Human Hours, Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced and The Game of Boxes, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. Her honors include a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a member of the core faculty of New York University's Creative Writing Program, a Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College, and an independent editor in New York City.
 
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Upcoming Events

Catherine Barnett reading and in conversation about HUMAN HOURS at McNally Jackson Seaport, part of Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends

Date:
ET
Location:
McNally Jackson Seaport in view map
"Private and Public Lives in Poetry." With Anselm Berrigan, and Nandana Dev Sen. Presented by Archipelago Books. Event will be held outside at McNally Jackson Seaport. Copies of Human Hours are available for purchase from McNally Jackson Books

Praise

  • “A fast-paced but unflappable tour of hotels, airports, college drop-offs, gynecologists’ offices and the cafes of Lower Manhattan. . . . The moments of stillness in Human Hours are equally compelling.”The New York Times Book Review
  • “[Human Hours] brim[s] with emotional intelligence.”The New York Times Style Magazine
  • “Barnett’s marvelous third collection is populated by devastatingly wry (and wryly devastating) poems about aging, time, and the existential predicaments—violence, trauma, consciousness itself. . . . Iconoclastic and penetrating, the speaker of these poems unsettles and enlivens.”Vulture
  • “[Human Hours] unspools in a conversational, free-associative idiom. . . . Even in our darkest hours, the poems insist, company and comedy are never far away.”—BOMB.com
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