NC Literary Hall of Fame



The Flying Days by Coyla Barry

Carolina Wren Press
$17.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-932112-98-9
September, 2014
Available from the publisher

The Flying Days, by Coyla Barry, evokes the natural world with a poise and grace that stills every image her keen eye lights upon; and the reader is mesmerized, as if seeing, for the very first time, the sky and the birds spinning through it, the earth those birds occasionally light upon, and each pristine blade of grass.”
—Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina's seventh poet laureate

“Coyla Barry focuses her poet’s eyes and ears on the natural world, her response rising up in language as sharp and precise as a veery’s cry or the snort of an antelope. Through the art of poetry, she sees ‘the shape of a new place letting me in,’ as she concludes ‘Call and Response,’ one of the many poems that beckon her readers to respond to the world around us and Barry renders the natural world in all its complexity and mystery, free of any trace of sentimentality.”
—Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina's fifth poet laureate

“Coyla Barry’s poems brim with light and the surprise of recognition. Again and again she shows us the radiant familiar that is just under our daily radar. Her poems don’t play with big ideas, they appeal to the senses: the sharp scent of mint, a lake dive on a hot day, a shot of good malt whiskey, the arresting light of a meteor streaking over a wooded campsite.”
—Peter Makuck

“In The Flying Days, Coyla Barry brings a scientific eye and a passionate heart to an examination of the connections between desire, aging, and death. Poems that start out paced by close observation blossom into revelations on longing and the way wanting shapes human life at every stage.”
—Tanya Olson

Coyla Barry grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in physiology. She worked as a marine biologist at Yale University until the 1970s when she moved south with her three children. After obtaining a Masters in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she began a second career as a Research Librarian at an international health care company. She is the author of two chapbooks, Creature and Creature, winner of the 2001 Harperprints Chapbook Competition sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and Swimming Woman: Poems from Montana (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Nimrod, Kakalak, The Pedestal, Southern Poetry Review, and other magazines. She now lives with her husband in a retirement community in Durham, North Carolina.

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