New Review: Small Chimes by Julie Brooks Barbour

51Jw4FBEO7LI just finished Small Chimes by Julie Brooks Barbour (Aldrich Press, 2014).  What a pleasure: it’s that rare sort of poetry collection you can pick up and read straight through, cover to cover. There’s a narrative, a momentum that pulls you through. I started and couldn’t stop. Here is small town life, family life, in all its beauty and darkness. The hawk eating a dead crow, picking the bones, while a child watches. The girl darting among clean sheets on the clothesline. The teenaged shoplifter. The angry mother. The long-dead relative who died in childhood, leaving only a memory. Simultaneously accessible and reflective, this book is at turns quiet, beautiful, spirited, and tough. Julie Brooks Barbour tells it like it is, and her poems sing. They’ll wake you up.