Beautiful Raft

A Life In Shadow: A Review of Beautiful Raft by Tina Barry

"Each prose poem stands on its own, a credit to Barry’s deft writing skills, and yet, when taken together, creates for the reader a representation of a life lived in shadow. Beautiful Raft is painting through poetry."

"Haggard and Jean take turns narrating the book, both struggling to make room for themselves in their own lives, both failing in their own ways. Jean lives in the in-between: away from her father, not fully embraced by her mother’s new love interest. She writes letters to her father, whom she rarely sees. “Marc is mostly nice to me” Jean tells John in one of her missives."

--Amy Strauss Friedman, August, 2020

"As successful in its storytelling and character portrayal as it is in syntax and diction, it is sure to please the avid reader of both fiction and verse...."

"Readers are carefully guided through each phase in rich voice and emotional depth by Barry’s adroit narrative. Over Beautiful Raft’s pages, the characters come into full view as their relationships evolve...."

"Easily accessed and stunningly executed, Tina Barry’s Beautiful Raft brings to life a world of characters and another time. As much a love story as it is a social commentary, the end result is a triumph: an illustration of personhood that begins a larger conversation on gender roles and being—a conversation that is rarely understood so completely as through the view of the person that lived it."

--Kate Kernan, October 2019