Barbara Novack is Writer-in-Residence at Molloy College and also a member of the English department, where she teaches creative writing, advanced creative writing and courses in poetry writing, novel writing and short story writing. A creative presence on campus, she provides class visits, consultation, mentoring and inspiration, reminding all that creativity is a vital part of life.

In addition to her faculty duties, she conducts popular writers’ workshops, presents programs on creative writing, memoir writing and poetry and has given readings of her poetry at various metropolitan area venues. An award-winning writer, she is a member of The Authors Guild and is listed in the Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, Who’s Who and Who’s Who of American Women. Her website is www.barbaranovack.com


 Barbara Novack's new book of poetry:
Something Like Life

Using art as its theme and life as its story,
Novack explores the journey we all take in our search for happiness.
Something Like Life ($14.95, JB Stillwater Publishing Co.)
is available from the publisher, www.jbstillwater.com, Amazon, BN.com
and the author, English Department, Siena Hall, 103. 

Three Poems by Barbara Novack


By the curbside, sand ground fine
stone diminished to its merest particles
gray brown
almost colorless in the city.
And yet, as I step to cross the street,
I see a shimmering rainbow arc
beneath my feet.
I touch it tentatively with my toe.
The sand shimmers and shifts
but holds its magic.
I have been preoccupied this morning
with the day’s troubles
with the mundane
that has ground me fine
like city sand, colorless,
to be trod upon,
and I have trudged,
head down beneath the too-bright light,
lost in dreary thought.
But I have touched my toe, this morning,
in a rainbow.
A reminder, so gentle, so tactfully discreet,
that beauty
and blessings
and even magic
lie at my feet.


The pear tree in the neighbor’s backyard
drops its crop on the driveway
with hard thumps
like baseballs hitting a mitt.
But the pears roll, uncaught.

Once my father climbed to the top of the garage
where the pear tree branches stretch over the peak
and perched there, straddling it, plucking pears
and tossing them down to me. I
caught each neatly,
brown-green balls of sweetness, small and firm,
slapping into my cupped palms
and deposited in a large paper bag at my feet.
The pluck, the toss, the catch, the drop:
we had a good rhythm that sunny September afternoon.
And when the bag was finally full and the game ended,
my father lit his pipe, set it at a jaunty angle,
and sat secure and serene
up high against the bluest sky.

The pear tree in the neighbor’s backyard
drops its crop on the driveway
with hard thumps:
the pears roll, uncaught.

I stand at the kitchen window
and stare out at the branches
so high against
the emptiest sky.


Chekhov said
throw out the first three pages;
it takes that long
to get to the beginning.

And I may say
put aside the first three decades
sweep away their debris
cast off versions of the self
that should have molted
like early outgrown skins.
Much was misunderstood,
The guidebook for those places
has been reprinted,
the new edition totally revised.
History, after all,
is just memory compromised,
smoothed out,
its sags sretched to cover the chasms
of existence.

So put them away
in the safe place
where the fading photos stay
and know
it took all that
to get to
the beginning.

Poetry Events and Author Afternoons

As Writer-in-Residence, Barbara Novack co-founded with the English department and hosts Poetry Events at Molloy College and Author Afternoons at Molloy College, two reading series that bring contemporary poets and writers to a wider audience. 

Follow this link for upcoming poetry events

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1000 Hempstead Avenue Siena Hall, S-103 Rockville Centre, New York 11571-5002