Falling Bodies, a new collection of poems from Finishing Line Press, explores loss, identity and family through the lens of the natural world. This is a collaborative effort between three local women: a poet, a graphic designer and a photographer.
The chapbook, part of the critically acclaimed Finishing Line series of chapbooks, is by Interlaken author Jillian Barnet, whose poems speak to universal issues but are born out of the particular experience of author as adoptee, mother and lover in the landscape of her former home in Western Pennsylvania.
Trumansburg graphic designer Celeste Withiam designed the eye-catching front cover, and photographer Julie Prisloe, also of Trumansburg, took the photo of Jillian that appears on the book’s back cover.
“I’m so lucky to have worked with Celeste and Julie on this project,” said author, Jillian Barnet. “I honestly think people would buy the book just to look at the beautiful cover.”
The book is currently available for order from the publisher (finishinglinepress.com) and will be released in July. Those who have read the advance copies already give the book five stars on the publisher’s website.
From self as Roman ruin to God as big-handed homeboy, from Copernican systems to the doubt and lust of Darwin’s wife, the poet’s imagination is as vast as his gaze is unwavering. The poems “shudder, waver / in the rising wind against the wild blue”.
Using sensual images of the natural world, the poet explores “carrying grief”, “the coming/passing of the past, its inevitable taking over”.
Jillian will read as part of the Spring Writes Literary Festival, springwrites.org, which runs from May 5 to June 9 and includes readings, panels, performances and workshops.
Barnet’s reading takes place virtually on May 6 at 6 p.m. Go to the Spring Writes website to register for virtual events. The Spring Writes Literary Festival is one of many programs of the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.
Barnet’s poetry has appeared in North American Review, Crab Orchard Review, Image, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Egg”, which is featured in Falling Bodies, was nominated by Bellingham Review for a Pushcart Prize.
Barnet earned her master’s degree in poetry from Vermont College in 2003. While writing, she has worked as a cancer research coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh, a lecturer in literature and writing at Chatham University, and at Pennsylvania State University, professional and technical writer and writer. , and also had a second career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Registered Massage Therapist.
In addition to poetry, Barnet also writes creative non-fiction. Two of his essays will be published this spring in New Letters and JMWW. Currently working on a memoir, she lives on a small farm in Interlaken with her husband and “a growing number of opinionated animals”.
More information is available on her website at jillianbarnetwrites.com.