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Barbara Marie Minney

Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and a seventh generation Appalachian via West Virginia and Eastern Ohio. Barbara’s first collection of poetry, If There’s No Heaven, was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and was published in May of 2020 by Poetry Is Life Publishing. It was selected by the Akron Beacon Journal as a Best Northeast Ohio Book in 2020. Barbara’s poetry and essays have been published in the 50th Anniversary Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology, Women Speak: Volumes 5, 6, 7, and 8. The Gasconade Review Presents: Ladies’ Night, Woman Scream: The International Poetry Anthology of Female Voices, and many other journals and anthologies.


Turning years like pages of a poorly
written mystery novel. Hardboiled PI
on a blood-stained vendetta. Knifing through
a maze of blind alleys. Gunning at dark clues.
Pointing to broken puzzles, pieces scattered
across alternative lifestyles and spiritless
religions. Faceless villains and buxom
femme fatales, alluring and dangerous
like a waveless sea. Lonely days. Lonelier
nights. Nightmaring in a jungle of twisted
sheets, smelling of beer and cigarettes, wet
with sweat. Ignoring the warning signs. Red
herrings and smoke screens. Fistfights and beatings,
some self-administered. Pain and pleasure
blurring together into a sublime
ecstasy. Leading to a godforsaken
corner. Spotlighted woman in the sepia
dimness of the bishop crook lamppost,
crouching and listening to the boy in
dirty coveralls, freckle face, dimming eyes
amber in the fading moonlight. A younger
opposite gender doppelgänger
connected like a marionette and
marionettist whispering, learn to make your own rules
lose the only life you know, be reborn.

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