‘Circus of Forgetting’ is memorable collection of poetry by DWU professor - Dakota Wesleyan University 360 WebCMS - News

‘Circus of Forgetting’ is memorable collection of poetry by DWU professor

Monday, November 25, 2013

Loss is a broad topic and no matter how much a person heals or moves forward, forgetting is impossible.


Barbara Duffey, assistant professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University, attempts to describe the full gambit of this emotion in her newest chapbook, “The Circus of Forgetting,” now available through Dancing Girl Press.

The book contains 17 poems, all which focus upon the topic of loss.

“The poems consider the deaths of loved ones, as well as the threat of loss that injury and illness make apparent,” Duffey said. “I also discuss loss rather literally, as in ‘weight loss’ and, in one poem, in the form of bulimia.”

The title of the chapbook has a circular meaning for her.

“I take the metaphor of the ‘circus’ to mean that I am parading these losses as a way to expunge them; also, that I am making a farce of forgetting by forcing myself to remember.”  

This is also why she chose the elephant to represent the poems as the chapbook’s cover art. The circus creature, after all, never forgets.

“The Circus of Forgetting” is $7 and may be purchased by clicking here.

The cover art was created by Duffey’s mother, Virginia Duffey, originally of Winner, S.D., and now of Cedar Crest, N.M.

Duffey joined the English department fall 2012 and has had several poems published this past year. She received her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California. Duffey also served as a grant writer for the University of Houston’s College of Education; a writer in residence for the Writers in the Schools, Houston; and a reading instructor at the Institute of Reading Development. Her short story “And All Night Long We Have Not Stirred” was chosen by Dark House Press for its Exigencies Anthology, to be released at a later date.


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