Publisher : Quale Press
Publication Date : November 15, 2013
ISBN : 9781935835103
Category : Prose, Poetry, Poems and Stories, Fiction
Product Dimensions : 5.25 x 8 inches
Paperback : 133 pages
Cover Art : Miranda Maher

Order directly from Quale Press,  Small Press Distribution, 1-800-869-7553 ; or Amazon.com


In A Swift Passage, Barbara Henning celebrates the ongoing life force and transformation as we seek freedom, clarity, confusion and confinement, and everything in between. The pace of life moves us so quickly and with such an urgency to get somewhere in particular and then we circle around and return to where we started, but it’s never exactly the same. Henning’s stories and poems blur the lines between fiction and autobiography, prose and poetry. The narrator, and her characters, try to tell the truth and then examine how that truth then tells them. Ultimately, narrator and characters question whether what’s told is the truth. There are stories and poems about moments of sunlight and violence, biking in the desert, war, child abuse, the BP oil disaster, water pollution, New York City streets, un-health care in the USA, Tompkins Square Park, writers, driving, Halliburton, government contracts, yoga, divorce, flowers, moving shadows, smuggling, picking raspberries in the wilderness. These works are maximalist in that they intersect with Henning’s daily life in New York City and on the road driving across country. Our conscious minds hold memory and experience, the private and the public and endless variations. These poems and stories intersect with these variations.  (Publisher Description)

Reviews of A Swift Passage

Interview by Shelagh Shapiro on A Swift Passage, Burlington Vermont radio WOMM-LP.

Research notes on A Swift Passage. In Necessary Fiction.

Peter Ananstas, “On Henning, a Review of Swift Passage.” House Organ, No. 87, Summer 2014.
House Organ Review of Swift

Armstrong, Shane. “Weaving Introspection: A Review of Barbara Henning’s A Swift Passage.BeYou.
November 12, 2013.  November 12, 2013

Paul Klinger. “I can’t afford to not record: Barbara Henning’s A Swift Passage and the Experiment of Restlessness.” HTMLGiant. December 2013.  “Where Henning’s book proves most powerful is exactly those points where its advocacy reveals the sensitive communication of those tiny decisions from daily life that ultimately make or break our communities. These scenarios hold the power to expose the inconsistencies in how our system of government treats the poor and the powerless. Ultimately, these inconsistencies point to the source of that restlessness seen in Henning’s travels and various writing projects, but the response is not an attempt to minimize or collapse that restlessness. The writing continues it and celebrates a rigorous  writing practice as a way to maintain access to problems that otherwise might shut us down in hopelessness. Henning’s work prohibits us from forgetting the social place that writing can create from scratch.” For the rest, go to the website:


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