Coleman Barks is the best-selling translator of The Essential Rumi, The Soul of Rumi, and Rumi: The Book of Love and author of numerous volumes of poetry including Winter Sky: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2008 (Georgia). He taught creative writing and American poetry in the English Department at the University of Georgia for thirty years and currently lives in Athens, Georgia.
The poems in Hummingbird Sleep move associatively between Coleman Barks's personal experience and his extensive reading, weaving together a wild and eclectic range of material. A discussion of Plotinus, Barks's appearance on PBS NewsHour, a note Keats once left on Wordsworth's mantelpiece, a splinter in the heel, and a quote from the Upanishads—all make their way into Barks's most recent poems, which achieve intimacy and expansiveness at the same time.
"A mighty book. A rain dance between Plotinus and the grandeur of an Athens snowfall. Hummingbird Sleep is so good I have taken up residence in it. Barks is writing out where the buses don't park. This is his finest work yet: intimate, touched with grief, but with a great intensity of wonder. The whole affair carries a pirate's joy for life."
"One of the most moving meditations on aging, living, and dying I've ever read. These poems will befriend, comfort, and delight you. Something very magical happens as Coleman Barks overlays dreaming and waking life . . . memory and present . . . you can taste these poems while reading them."
—Naomi Shihab Nye
The University of Georgia Press