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The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water


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About the Author

Cameron Barnett earned his MFA in poetry at The University of Pittsburgh, where he was poetry editor for Hot Metal Bridge literary magazine and co-coordinator of the Pitt Speakeasy Reading Series. His honors include the O'Donnell Award for Excellence in Poetry from Duquesne University and The Academy of American Poets Graduate Poetry Award from The University of Pittsburgh. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he works as a middle school language arts teacher, and is an associate poetry editor for Pittsburgh Poetry Review. The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water is his first book.


Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Sandra Bland, Amadou Diallo, Philando Castile, and Trayvon Martin are just a few of the victims of race-based violence named in The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water, [3] Cameron Barnett's debut collection of poems. Images of water pervade the book. They are often threatening, evoking an element in which we must either preserve ourselves by constant effort or drown: in Barnett's hands, water becomes a metaphor for many things, most notably for America as experienced by people of color. http: //hudsonreview.com/2018/01/my-race-sees-me-three-african-american-poets/#.Wnh4EqinGUl--Robert Archambeau "The Hudson Review" (2/1/2018 12:00:00 AM)
The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water is not a book to tear through. The care and meticulousness with which poet and educator Cameron Barnett deconstructs his relationship to his Blackness demands that we as readers slow down. http: //www.wintertangerine.com/the-drowning-boys-guide-to-water--Noor Ibn Najam "Winter Tangerine" (5/1/2018 12:00:00 AM)
As one of the four classical elements, water represents life, and symbolizes purification of the soul. In Pittsburgh-based poet Cameron Barnett's anticipated debut collection, The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water (Autumn House Press), water serves as a complex and versatile metaphor. In "Letter to Sandy," Barnett writes, "Water can be so difficult sometimes /... but pain is more than feeling." The many references to water and pain (emotional, physical and existential) gush forth in powerfully perceptive ways. https: //www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/cameron-barnetts-debut-poetry-collection-the-drowning-boys-guide-to-water/Content?oid=5655920#.Wig96otvYWI.facebook--Fred Shaw "Pittsburgh City Paper" (12/1/2017 12:00:00 AM)
In his vivacious and impressive debut, Cameron Barnett examines the intricacies of blackness and reflects on how identity is inevitably complicated by questions of race. Like most first books, The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water is, to some extent, a self-portrait, but Barnett's poems never suffer from naivety or navel-gazing. Instead, they ache to reconcile our vast, imaginative, and jumbled inner lives with the inevitably reductive cruelty of labels, particularly when those labels facilitate the harm or obliteration of people of color. http: //plumepoetry.com/2017/11/two-reviews-in-brief-2/--Adam Tavel "Plume" (12/1/2017 12:00:00 AM)

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