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George Balanchine

We exist in time… There is only now. Right now.

Barbara Maria

Barbara Maria (Barbaria) is a performance poet, writing teacher and the author of two books of poetry, Crossing Time and Palace Boulevard, and a CD of poems with music by Jeff Densmore, called 108 Names-Poems to the Divine.


Originally from New York, she has been at home on the coast of Maine for forty years and was the founder/director of the Intercom Interactive Theater project, which served three Maine school districts and Rising Sound Arts & Education, a creative writing, performance and media project for teens and young adults. Federal, State and Community grants funded these programs. She has taught and performed in schools and communities throughout New England and currently leads Spoken Word  workshops as a visiting artist. She also facilitates workshops and groups for experienced and beginning writers, as well as a writing and meditation series. She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College.

Soul Migration is a multimedia installation that brings the spoken word into a three-dimensional experience – a visual poetry that engages the overlapping of image, sound and movement to reveal another dimension or way of seeing. The possibilities and perspectives are compelling and create a magical realism illuminating the extraordinary that exists in the ordinary.  Photomontage, like poetry, is a process of moving images in space orchestrating an expression of subtle layers of perception that suggest what is palpable, but not necessarily visible.


The soliloquies and thematic poems were written in response to the images, as if the movement in each picture contained a seed of sound and story. While Soul Migration turns on the migration of her Sicilian grandmother from her arrival at Ellis Island, Maria reminds us that the story is universal.


Barbara Maria’s Palace Boulevard is a text of devotion – both to the divine mother and to a very human, elderly woman passing into the inscrutable territory of Alzheimer’s. With patient attention, Maria discovers that grace is to be found in this failing mother, too. When she writes, You broke us apart and soothed us, we were blessed and shattered, each of us blown through and cradled, to which mother is she speaking? Both, of course, in this radiantly loving book.

Mark Doty, award winning poet and memoirist, whose books include My Alexandria, Atlantis, Heaven’s Coast, and Dog Years 

Death is a form of birth in Barbara Maria’s profound account of her father’s passing and her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease, the departed exiting the body of the world into a room/we aren’t conscious of yet, where the windows/face a field of tall translucent grass. Just as Barbara Maria’s mother discovers herself and her daughter in the nursing home mirror, you will discover yourself in this book, and you will find yourself illumined as by the Divine.

Nancy Lagomarisino, author of Sleep Handbook, The Secretary Parables, and Light from an Eclipse.

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