Barter reads from new book at COA

Posted Jan. 28, 2013, at 2:11 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 28, 2013, at 3:34 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 4:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

Location: College of the Atlantic - McCormick Lecture Hall, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine

For more information: John Visvader; 207-288-5015;

Local poet Christian Barter will be reading from his just-published book, “In Someone Else’s House,” at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 4:10 p.m. in the college’s McCormick Lecture Hall.

The stories Barter tells are personal and universal—poems of love and longing, questions of youth and aging, ambition and reality. Throughout are local glimpses, reflecting Barter’s Hancock County roots and his work as a trail crew supervisor at Acadia National Park. Trees “porcupine the ledges.” Cars are “as constant here as breathing.” In “The Stepping Stones,” the last poem in his new book, he writes, “the season / of RVs has started, tin garages / leaned out on shoulders all along / the Loop Road, stern retirees snapping / photos from their tailpipes.”

About his work, Vermont’s Poet Laureate Sydney Lea says, “There are poets who can bring us to tears; there are poets who can make us ponder vast societal and existential issues; there are poets whose irony moves us at once to ruefulness and to dark laughter; there are poets who fruitfully challenge our intellectual capacities. But Christian Barter is that rarest of writers, the one who can make us react in all these ways, and often simultaneously.”

Writes noted poet Tony Hoagland, “I keep reading Barter because the honesty of his songs and stories encourages me to be more honest and more compassionate about my own condition, of course. They are also funny, smart, and lyrical.”

Barter’s first book, “The Singers I Prefer,” was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize. He has been a resident fellow at Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony and a Hodder Fellow in poetry at Princeton. Barter is also an editor for The Beloit Poetry Journal, and an adjunct faculty member at COA.

Copies of “In Someone Else’s House,” published by BkMk Press, will be available at the reading. For more on Barter’s reading at 4:10 p.m. in McCormick Lecture Hall on Feb. 5, contact John Visvader at or the college at 288-5015.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit