A bold experiment in autobiography, Lost Family: A Memoir is a book of sonnets that centres around the deaths of John Barton's mother and sister, but tracks much of the poet's early life in Alberta through to a conflicted, restless adulthood. Alongside tales of love, friends and mentors, intolerance, AIDS, and the struggle for equality, Barton's collection--his first in eight years--explores how being gay rewrites and expands one's sense of lineage, both inherited and chosen. A book of penetrating self-awareness and humility, marked by powerful image-making, Lost Family: A Memoir is a profound test of poetry's ability to give coherence to life. It is also a celebration of the sonnet form, that finely made reliquary that permits memory to take shape.
Praise for John Barton:
"Barton is simply too large and too prodigious and too protean a talent," --Journal of Canadian Poetry
"Barton's work is a brilliant example of grace on display," --Bay Area Reporter