Jessica Baran Reading/Signing for COMMON SENSE
Poetry. Art. Funny and sad, the poems in COMMON SENSE sound the gulf between wants and obligations, adolescence and adulthood, love and politics. They speak to the absurdities and desperations of contemporary America, where common sense proves as scarce as its invocations are numerous. These are poems of keen irony and even satire, addressed to the wish fulfillment of presidential elections and the insurgency of teenage lust. They capture the dislocations of common life, the detritus of our days, alert to the strange fictions and contradictions we live within.—Devin Johnston
Jessica Baran is the author of three poetry collections: Common Sense (Lost Roads, 2016); Equivalents (Lost Roads, 2012, winner of the Besmilr Brigham Women Writers Prize); and Remains To Be Used (Apostrophe, 2010). Her poetry and art criticism has appeared in Art in America, Artforum.com, A Public Space, the Awl, BOMB, the Boston Review, the Denver Quarterly, Flash Art, the Riverfront Times and the Village Voice, among many other publications. She is a lecturer at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art and an instructor at St. Louis University's Prison Arts and Education Program. She received her BA in visual art from Columbia University, New York and her MFA in poetry writing at Washington University, St. Louis. With Ted Mathys, she co-curates the 100 Boots Poetry Series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.