Falling into Flowers
Lynne Barnes was born in Georgia and moved to New York City in 1968 with a front row ticket to Hair, before migrating to San Francisco in 1969, two years after the Summer of Love. She has worked as a nurse on psych emergency units and oncology wards, and as a librarian in San Francisco’s Public Libraries. She was part of a commune that thrived for twenty years in the Haight Ashbury. She lives with her beloved partner, Carole.
"Lynne Barnes' writing is intensely empathetic; she's a wounded healer to an orbit of beautiful broken souls. She is a hearth keeper to her life stories, stories that intersect with San Francisco, commune living, same-sex love, and social justice. There is a steady rhythm of longing from a choir of voices in this book, and every poem burns with unwavering hope." -Scott Caputo, Author of Holy Trinity of Chiles"It takes a certain kind of daring to write a memoir in poetry - the author must possess confidence, a powerful memory and a grace with words that will capture the reader's imagination. Luckily, Lynne Barnes has all these qualities. Her lyrical language draws you into many different worlds - from the cotton fields and blackberry brambles of a Southern childhood, to a gritty New York psychiatric ward, to a hippie commune in the Haight-Ashbury, with many surprising stops along the way. Barnes carves images as sharp and luminescent as gemstones. Her well-examined life makes for a compelling and vibrant story." -Elaine Elinson, Author of Wherever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Strikers, Suffragists, Immigrants, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California (with Stan Yogi)Gold Medal Award Winner, California Book Awards, 2010"Falling into Flowers invokes a powerful sense of history, sculpted with tender, goose-bump evoking details, depicting the South in the 1950s and '60s and the Haight-Ashbury commune scene after the Summer of Love. This book is a journey from marshes of grief into flats full of idealistic hippies in the City of St. Francis in the '70s and '80s... and twenty-five years beyond. Along the way, the author meets a few of the people and witnesses some of the events that helped shape this era of The Flower Generation. Lynne Barnes writes poems that sing like ballads. Her language is gorgeous and devastating." -Diane Frank, Author of Blackberries in the Dream House"I met Lynne Barnes through my Poets 11 anthology series as Poet-in-Residence for the San Francisco Public Library. She has emerged through our city's bohemian/hippie movements to write some of the most profoundly progressive poetry of this generation." -Jack Hirschman, Poet Laureate of San Francisco, 2006-2008"Startling images and luminescent language lead us on a journey from the South to the 'countercultural tornado' of the late 1960s and '70s. Despite despair and darkness, hope for a more compassionate world keeps the reader moving through different landscapes. Ultimately, this collection is about grace, counting your blessings, and the power of love and nature to heal 'the invisible scars.'" -Louise Nayer, Author of Burned (Oprah Magazine "Great Read," 2010), re-issued 2016"Thankfully, Lynne Barnes gifted me her poem 'Postcard from the Castro' after one of my lectures about my friend Harvey Milk, and I instantly fell in love with her succinct and enchanted poem about him. The exchange was in the great bohemian tradition of soul sharing that is our mutual legacy of growing up in San Francisco's counter-culture. I love too, finding that Falling Into Flowers is so adeptly steeped in the history of literature and poetry. I am quite certain I will be randomly opening this book to any page for daily inspiration for many years to come!" -Dan Nicoletta, LGBT: San Francisco (2017), Dan's first collection oficonic photography documenting forty years of the LGBT civil rights movement, starting when he stepped into Harvey Milk's Castro Camera shop in the mid-1970s, at age nineteen.
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