FOR FURTHER DETAILS OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING BOOKS, CLICK ON THE COVER IMAGE
The Marlowe Papers (Sceptre, 2012)
From the Sceptre catalogue:
“On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now let Christopher Marlowe tell you the truth: that his ‘death’ was an elaborate ruse to avoid his being hanged for heresy; that he was spirited across the channel to live on in lonely exile, longing for his true love and pining for the damp streets of London; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford – one William Shakespeare.
With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this extraordinary novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate, mercurial and not altogether trustworthy. The son of a cobbler who rose so far in Elizabethan society that he counted nobles among his friends and patrons, a spy in the Queen’s service, a fickle lover and a declared religious sceptic, he was always courting trouble. When it caught up with him, he was lucky to have connections powerful enough to help him escape.
Memoir, love letter, settling of accounts and a cry for recognition as the creator of some of the most sublime works in the English language, this is Christopher Marlowe’s testament – and a tour de force by an award-winning poet: provocative, persuasive and enthralling.”
The Marlowe Papers is published by Sceptre (30 May 2012) in the UK and by St Martin’s Press on 29 January 2013 in the US. For further details click here and/or subscribe to The Marlowe Papers mailing list. You can read a sample on Amazon here.
Material (Anvil, 2008)
A Poetry Book Society Recommendation
From P.N. Review:
“It is easy to see why Barber’s work has invited comparisons with Larkin’s. There is often a world-weariness in the typically conversational tone of Material; the formal control and occasional aphoristic statement (‘Nostalgia only makes me old’) reining in the imaginative leaps the poems make. As in Larkin, this technique is juxtaposed with an almost spiritual yearning for something beyond the ordinary.
What separates Barber’s poetry from Larkin’s, however, aside from its contemporary features, is its willingness to deal with emotionally fraught, familial subjects… And while poets have addressed these subjects before, Barber with her brand of tough lyricism seems particularly able: producing unflinching, balanced and candid poems which, at their best, are distinctive.
Overall, Material makes for an intelligent, affecting book of poems. It will also serve as a reminder – to those who vaguely demand contemporary poets take more ‘risks’ – that freshness can be achieved as much in formal, crafted lyric poems as in looser verse. Ros Barber’s poetry is highly readable, and as such, deserves to be read.”
Not the Usual Grasses Singing (Four Shores, 2005)
From Equinox (to read full review click HERE):
“Ros Barber says she wanted this book ‘to be a story, or journey, harking back to the narrative traditions of poetry, whilst being contemporary and accessible. Eventually I fell into rhyming couplets, and the work just took off with its own momentum.’
There are four central narratives in this journey around the Isle of Sheppey: Sheerness to Barton Point, Minster Beach to Warden Bay, Leysdown to Shellness and Shellness to Harty. It is indeed a history of Sheppey – Barber’s poems emanating not only from the history of the place, but also from the conflicting stories of the Isle which she re-tells in her inimitable way. She imbues her findings with the poet’s gift of giving probability to myth and, as is Barber’s want, delighting us with striking imagery: ‘The sea slows, and grows an island. Sheppey/ comes out of suspension, clod by clod, heavy // as a dropped jaw.’
Barber paints the Isle of Sheppey in all its colours, highlighting its quirkiness, its vitality, its beauty as well as its unloveliness; an intriguing picture which makes us want to discover the Isle for ourselves.”
How Things Are on Thursday (Anvil, 2004)
“Ros Barber’s collection is a beautifully crafted one. She finds a natural voice in familiar rhythms and forms, and to some extent is a ‘traditional’ contemporary poet along the lines of Larkin, with some Duffy influenced pieces too.”
From The North:
“Ros Barber’s first collection is an enjoyable and satisfying read, impressive in range of subject matter and diversity of form… This is confident writing; Barber’s black humour, her edginess and, above all, her honesty and directness make for an assured first collection.”
“Barber’s special distinction is that she has succeeded in writing a collection which grants as much to the general reader as it does to the devotee of contemporary poetry.”
Newspapers, Magazines, Poetry Journals
Over 50 poems published in journals and magazines including The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Express, Poetry London, Poetry Review, London Magazine, Magma, New Welsh Review, Poetry London, Rattapallax (New York), Stand, The Rialto, The North.
COVER IMAGES ARE CLICKABLE AND TAKE YOU THROUGH TO THE AMAZON PAGE FOR EACH BOOK