Tina Barr- Excerpt from Hayden’s Ferry Review

tina barrExcerpt from “The Gathering Identity: Eye/I in the Other,” by Julie Hampton, Hayden’s Ferry Review. 34 (2004): 136-138

The title of Tina Barr’s first full-length collection of poetry, The Gathering Eye, suggests a storm is brewing, and in the case of Barr’s impending impact on the poetry world this is true. Yet Barr takes us back to the eye of the storm from a necessary reflective distance; she gathers the narrative thread of women’s experience, in the scattered landscapes of China, Egypt, Maine, and the South, pulled taut through the lyric eye of one woman’s sharp needle, to suggest identity is in the other, not the mirror.

In this impressive collection, Barr gives us a revelation. Like Kierkegaard, loosely translated—’We must collect our thoughts, for the unexpected is always upon us’—Barr’s collection suggests, We must gather our identities, for the other is always within us.