Rick Barot Emphasizes Process in latest Zell Writers’ Program

Rick Barot, the most recent author featured in the Zell Visiting Writers series, shared his poetry at the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s Stern Auditorium on March 31 to an intimate and attentive audience. In an ever-changing and overstimulating world, Barot offers therapy, observation and reflection in his erudite presentation of poetry and his writing process.

Barot is best known for the four books of poetry that he has published, most recently “The Galleons,” with his other works including “The Darker Fall” and “Chord.” His poems by him have been featured in the likes of The Paris Review and The New Yorker, as well as several editions of The Best American Poetry anthology series. Barot currently is the director of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Barot’s prestige in poetry is matched with the quality and lasting impact of his poems. The poems Barot read aloud consisted of entries from “The Galleons,” as well as a series of prose poems titled “During the Pandemic.”

Taking a different approach than usual, the event was opened by the museum staff leading the audience through a brief mindfulness practice. This welcomed and much-needed practice opened both minds and ears to the surrounding world, offering a moment of contemplation. The tone of the room quickly shifted from lively and buzzing to calm and pensive, primed for a journey into Barot’s poetry.

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