Barbara Swift Brauer

Barbara Swift Brauer

Barbara Swift Brauer is a freelance writer living in San Geronimo, California. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies as well as in art exhibitions and installations. Her first poetry collection, At Ease in the Borrowed World, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2013. With portrait artist Jackie Kirk, she is coauthor of the nonfiction book, Witness: The Artist’s Vision in “The Face of AIDS” (Pomegranate Artbooks, 1996).

Barbara’s poem, “At Ease in the Borrowed World,” was featured in Anderbo. Read Barbara’s poems “Blueberry Ridge: A Poet Weighs In,” “Full Moon Walk,” “Only Autumn,” “Winter, San Geronimo” and “Ridge Developers” which appeared in Hip Pocket Press’s online journal Canary. Her poems have also appeared in Gravel.

Rain, Like a Thief

“Nothing remains / in the old containers,” Barbara Swift Brauer tells us at the end of her stunning second collection, Rain, Like a Thief, an observation of the physical world that serves as a description of the poems themselves. From winter days when the sun “clicks on like a furnace, clicks off” to the “thin, squeezed twee” of varied thrushes, the natural world is rendered so closely, with such care and delicacy, that the world itself seems transformed. Through lyrically precise and visually evocative language in poem after poem, Brauer reveals to us that in any life, the real thief is time. With her refusal to settle for the easy sentiment or to avoid the harder truth, Brauer makes us see those familiar old containers—­pain and loss, love and death—­in new ways. This revisioning, opening our eyes and hearts as it does, leads to what “Winter, San Geronimo” shows us we can steal back from both rain and time: “New air comes / rain-washed / into our lungs.”

“Barbara Swift Brauer is a poet of wonderful transparency and economy, and evokes the delights of ordinary life as well as the passage of time.” ­—Ellery Akers, author of Practicing the Truth

Read a poem from Rain, Like a Thief.

At Ease in the Borrowed World

“Haunted by loveliness and by ghosts, Barbara Swift Brauer’s collection, At Ease in the Borrowed World, maps out a new geography of belonging. Not to place, exactly, or to family, but to a suspended world where everyone gathers: parents and children, women and men, characters from novels, from history, the dead. It’s a sharply etched but comforting landscape, where reader and writer are both allowed temporary reign; where we ‘climb to the top of it and see farther,’ and then ‘place the sleeping residents / back in their beds, and fold the quick dark around them.’ ”  —Molly Fisk, author of The More Difficult Beauty

Read a poem from At Ease in the Borrowed World

Visit our online bookshop to purchase titles.