Dara Barnat is a scholar of poetry, a poet, and a lecturer in poetry, creative writing, and academic writing. She holds a Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University, where she is a senior faculty member and Head of the Division of Languages.
Dara is the author of three poetry collections: Headwind Migration (2009), In the Absence (2016), and The City I Run From: Poems of Tel Aviv (2020). Other poetry and translations from Hebrew have appeared in The Cortland Review, diode, Poet Lore, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been translated into Hebrew and French. Dara’s scholarly manuscript – Walt Whitman and the Making of Jewish American Poetry – is forthcoming in spring 2023. Other essays on poetry appear or are forthcoming in Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Oxford Handbook of Walt Whitman.
“The poems in Dara Barnat’s stunning debut poetry collection IN THE ABSENCE are courageous and beautifully crafted articulations of loss. Telling the tale of a father’s death, after he was afflicted by mental illness, these poems speak with delicacy, certainty, and great compassion for her father, herself, and all who have lived loss. She offers us ‘grief’s language’ as it ‘slips across borders’ and into our hearts. With Whitman as guiding spirit, these poems gently lead us into and through loss, toward a quietly asserted light, and toward an unexpected, wholly earned, ‘luck’ at book’s end. IN THE ABSENCE is an utterly necessary poetry collection, a great gift to us all.” —Rachel Tzvia Back
We decide nothing / is more desirable / than love from the dead,’ Dara Barnat writes in her wise and poignant first collection. IN THE ABSENCE tracks a father’s vanishing — first into a room, then into delusion, and finally death. Poems that range from investigations to parables interrogate a daughter’s bewilderment, asking what to remember, what to forget and, most important of all, how to forgive.” —Jody Bolz
“Dara Barnat in her finally calibrated and exquisitely poised poems keeps turning the world back from the silence and pain it harbors until she comes to reckon with a profound absence—the death of her father. The voice that speaks this reckoning employs an idiom that is spare, direct, and unrelenting. Its elegance reminds me of Mark Strand’s early poems. But what I admire most about IN THE ABSENCE is how it finds its way through grief with a clarity that’s rare in contemporary lyric poetry and as such, I agree with Barnat: `What luck to live on.”— Michael Collie