In a Combination of Practices
A 2003 New Issues Poetry Prize Selection,
Brenda Hillman, Judge
“In a Combination of Practices is just that, a combination of various poetic practices that creates a sense of varied — at times even conflicting— wonderment . . . Hers is a turning, folding, heaping world, where meaning shifts like geological forces.”
“Barbara Maloutas’ ‘practices’ have the quiet and confidence to proceed, without self-advertisement, through an experience of language often fresh and unassuming as a first glance. Personal or public seem beside the point as the reader is welcome to follow the page to its hospitable though sometimes unexpected end. A first book of uncommon maturity and accomplishment.”
“Cocteau said his work wasn’t produced from dreams, but rather initiates dreams. The first piece of Barbara Maloutas’ In a Conbination of Practices, is exact unfolding of the author’s dreams, but these produce events that are only the writing, are not merely descriptions of the dreams (as past events). That I, these events have’t occurred before that writing—which has also its own unknown futures. Her lines are an investigation that’s ‘the mind of become.’ Maloutas’ book is: writing as an outside operation—as if it were the operation of plants, for example, but which undergoing ‘transfer within’ (that is, poetry) is a person’s operations.”
“In a Combination of Practices is just that, a combination of various poetic practices that creates a sense of varied—at times even conflicting—wonderment. But Maloutas’ work is more than pastiche; her writing, in fact, is relational, a positing of one idea, one expression next to, against, back to back or in a geographical relationship with another. As she notes, ‘To evaluateTopography’ is important. How words look or are located in relation to each other, indeed, defines how people comprehend their world, how they perceive themselves and one another. Hers is a turning, folding, heaping world, where meaning shifts like geological forces.”
Barbara Maloutas received a BFA in graphic design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and studied design for five years in Basel, Switzerland. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Otis College of Art and Design in 2002. Maloutas is the author of In a Combination of Practices (New Issues 2004) and a chapbook,Practices (New Michigan/Diagram 2003). Her work has appeared inAufgabe, FreeVerse, Segue,Tarpaulin Sky, The New Review of Literature, Good Foot, bird dog, dusie, Greatcoat and elsewhere. Her work is anthologized inIntersections: Innovative Poets of Southern California (Green Integer) and Segue’s Fifth Anniversary Issue. Online chapbooks are available fromSegue (Aegean.doc) and Beard of Bees (Coffee Hazilly). She won the 2008 Sawtooth Poetry Prize for her manuscript the whole Marie, selected by C.D. Wright. She teaches in the book arts program at Otis College of Art and Design and lives in Los Angeles.