Award-winning poet’s much-anticipated second collection is a searching, timely ode to the earth.

Susan Barba’s new collection of poems resembles the spheroid stone of its name; when cracked open, a glittering and fascinating crystalline structure is revealed but the stony sphere she offers us, and the beauty within, is nothing less than the earth. With anguish and praise, in the spirit of both the ode and the elegy, Barba considers our time within the larger scale of deep-time. The species decreasing in number and disappeared and the possibility of human extinction haunt this book, while new generations and the possibility of renunciation of our old ways animate it. Here is the world, Barba reminds us, like a ball, in our hands.

“geode is rich with shining interiors and tactile relationships, delicate human to delicate earth, small delusions of ownership against wider backdrops of loss and time. Poems acting as guides, helping us navigate and remember, create an intricate overlay of worlds, humans and trees.”
Naomi Shihab Nye, New York Times Magazine

“With gorgeous incantations, with music that is as memorable as it is piercing, Susan Barba has given us the green-book, the earth-book, the book of justice, that shows us how endlessly, mindlessly “we are ticking away, all of us clocks.” geode maps our planet’s “blue-green grid”, shows us the earth itself, and our crime against it: “earth the story they’re breaking.” Not a story exactly, perhaps, but a spell, a book of spells.

From the language of maps, from the language of the courtroom, from the language of the river, we are given one human’s testimony. And music, when it comes, is transformative: ‘Oak, whose girth / exceeds my reach / forever I am / at your feet, / looking up.'”
Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

“Susan Barba’s geode is a rich, lyrical meditation on earth and its generative forces as well as its vulnerability to human desecration, violence, and ignorance. Her poems navigate places where natural history, human imagination and man-made endeavor meet. Barba’s voice is necessary in this tragic American moment where reactionary forces are at war with science, reason, and the planet.”
Peter Balakian, author of Ozone Journal

David R. Godine, Publisher is distributed to the trade by Two Rivers Distribution, an Ingram brand. For more info, click here.


Susan Barba’s first book Fair Sun (Godine, 2017) was awarded the Anahit Literary Prize and the Minas & Kohar Tölöyan Prize. She earned her PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University and is Senior Editor at New York Review Books.