The Works of Barbara Crooker

Barbara Crooker has published over 650 poems in over 2050 publications, including magazines such as Yankee, The Christian Science MonitorThe Beloit Poetry Journal, The Christian Century, River City, America, The Atlanta Review, and The Denver Quarterly; anthologies, including Good Poems for Hard Times (Garrison Keillor, editor) (Viking Penguin), Sweeping Beauty:  Contemporary Women Poets Do Housework, (University of Iowa); ten chapbooks, and three full-length books, Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book Award and was a finalist for the 2006  Paterson Poetry Prize;  Line Dance,  (Word Tech, 2008) which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and More (C&R Press, 2010).  She has received three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships in Literature, twenty-six Pushcart Prize nominations, was a finalist for a Grammy Award (Spoken Word Category), and won these national poetry competitions:  the 1997 Karamu Poetry Prize, the New Millennium Writings Y2K Award, the 2001 ByLine Chapbook Competition, the 2003 Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, the 2004 WB Yeats Society of NY Poetry Prize, the 2004 Grayson Books Chapbook Competition, The 2006 Rosebud Ekphractic Poetry Prize, and 2007 the Pen and Brush Poetry Prize.  Recently, Garrison Keillor read seventeen of her poems on The Writers Almanac.

All Poems  ¬© Barbara Crooker

Variations on a Line by my Daughter at Three

I not was doing nothing--Becky Crooker

Fat yellow leaves pile up

against a white picket fence,

and the sugar maples let go,

showers of sparks from a bonfire.

They will rise again in braids of smoke.

Geese blare discordant chords, fall

into formation; starlings gather

on telephone wires.

This is migration's long dance.

At twilight, deer tiptoe down the path

to nibble windfalls. There's Showy Goldenrod,

there's Pearly Everlasting, there's Late Purple Aster,

and Joe-Pye Weed. Now, night falls early,

covers us with its bowl of stars.

The moon's a sliver of lemon rind

in a cup of black espresso.

And there is not one bit of this

that is not beautiful.