Trio House Press
publishing distinct voices in American poetry
since 2011

                   <!-- Link to the Trio House Press submission manager. --->
<a target = _blank href="https://triohousepress.submittable.com/submit"><img src="//manager.submittable.com/Public/Images/submittable-submit-button.png" alt="submit" border="0" /></a>
<!-- End link to submission manager -->
                   <!-- Link to the Trio House Press submission manager. --->
<a target = _blank href="https://triohousepress.submittable.com/submit"><img src="//manager.submittable.com/Public/Images/submittable-submit-button.png" alt="submit" border="0" /></a>
<!-- End link to submission manager -->

“In You Do Not Have to Be Good Madeleine Barnes has crafted a beautiful and luminous book of lyrics out of the grit and gristle of lived experience. This ‘scarred’ yet ‘flowering’ collection is lit from within by the poet's fierce resilience and faith in the redemptive potential of love. Barnes is a poet who attends to the breaking and broken body while never losing sight of the ‘body’s impossible blessings.’ ‘Change is your flint/use it to renew,’ she writes, ‘Say it:/you want to live.’ I am grateful for Barnes’s powerful voice singing clear light into the darkness we inhabit.  Hers is a searing, necessary debut.”


—Deborah Landau


“Madeleine Barnes generously reaches toward painful places that many poets are afraid to touch. Organizing her her book around a sequence of absolving principles, she enacts a forgiveness journey, without false consolation; instead, she speaks in praise of tenacious embroidery, steadfast retrieval, destinationless self-assemblage, and a pleasing neutrality, as if she were looking at disaster, or at daily life, through a scrim that gave some of the sad information but kept the viewer safely unseen. The book, an artfully composed act of ambiguous witness, addresses a ‘you’—a compassionate reader who will feel, as I do, grateful to Barnes for her high level of craft, wisdom, and emotional resourcefulness.”


—Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Camp Marmalade


“A wonderfully idiosyncratic logic animates Madeleine Barnes's debut collection, You Do Not Have To Be Good: half spirit, half inner speech. The poems take shape in the space between the dystopia of a real world and the utopia of a world the speaker longs for and valiantly wills into being: ‘I wish the sirens were remnants of churchbells, cymbals, second-hand static,’ she says. Caritas and death confront each other in ‘the sting of how easily we are forgotten.’ Through the poem ‘Vulnerary,’ I learned that a ‘vulnerary’ is something used to heal a wound, a definition that also applies to this powerful new voice.”


—Catherine Barnett