A necessary investigation into the complex relationship between trauma, community, and poetry, Barker’s Unmuted Verse examines how poetry unites communities haunted by traumas and also provides a safe space to confront those traumas. Through culturally-sensitive readings, Barker deftly ties together detailed poetry analyses and trauma theory, illustrating how poetry can be simultaneously a site of resistance and healing. Unmuted Verse is an ideal resource for any scholar of trauma theory and/or multi-cultural literature.
By turns mellifluous and dolorous, Jamie Barker’s voice conveys that post-traumatic stress and ambivalence are never fully separated, nor should they be. Barker’s study demonstrates that community is the solution, both for the healers and the healing. Barker’s critical approach to the study of poetry is refreshingly that of a trauma counselor instead of a trauma surgeon. This is a book that is truly interdisciplinary, mirroring both the individual, familial generations, and society.