Reviews of Terminally Human:
Barry North's collection of poetry is refreshing and life affirming. His poetry easily and intellectually captures the human conditions of the day. These poems are rich with honesty and North never flinches.
His exquisitely crafted poems encompass many real subjects and left me saying, "I wish I had written that!" North is a poet that you don't want to miss.
Diana May-Waldman-Poetry Editor at Blue Lake Review
“Terminally Human” is the exact right title for this chapbook by Barry W. North, as he captures, again and again, both the inevitable flaws in all human endeavor and the poignant beauty reserved for those who can sympathize with rather than despair of that inevitability. A life-long laborer turned poet, North’s work has the stamp of genuine living combined with a skill with language and lyric that should be the envy of any MFA graduate. “Terminally Human” is a gift to all of us, co-sufferers in the beguiling pageant of living – Joe Benevento, Professor of English at Truman State University and poetry editor of the Green Hills Literary Lantern
In Terminally Human, Barry North captures universal moments of the human experience – a child’s miraculous escape from death, the reality of a dying marriage, an aging parent forgetting her child, and the painful awareness of a physically and spiritually broken heart. He offers a breathtaking elegy for a cowboy, while grappling with his own apathy toward the images of war. Yet, North explores simpler moments of “blessings” as well. In an elegant voice, he takes us along as he watches a bird building a home, drives across a bridge over “the corrugated Mississippi,” or sits on a porch with childhood friends who are wonderfully unaware of looming adulthood. In these poems, North challenges us to celebrate and lament our own mortality, spirituality, and both the pain and joy of remembering. Ultimately, these poems are about second chances – those we take, and those we let slip by.
Professor of Geography, Samford University
Associate Editor, Journal of Geography
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