Barry Gross views the world around him in a unique way with his book Angled Portraits—his observances like, “After Reading Genesis,” Thought it odd that it took only six days to create our world. Remember, the seventh was an off day. Why rush? Why not take your time? Barry chooses wit to round out what we all think, but adds a touch more to make the reader think. He refers to the last independent bookstore, kneeling in dim light, and starving poets, and there are plenty of those. This book is full of both poetry and prose, a mixing of notebooks fat with ink and graphics, of salesmen who know better than to dwell, possibly a sign of weakness. And then there is that old-ass name, Agatha, who knows no better than to challenge such an observer. Don’t forget the food section, Barry’s Bachelor Stew, and other treats that fill the stomach, wanton recipes as the mind slurps the words from with-in the pages of this book. “For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding. It is the deepest part of autobiography.”
— Robert Penn Warren
Barry Gross invites us into his outré world of commentary on everything from childhood memories to adolescent sex to sustained love for family, his students, and for life at large.
Barry Gross doesn’t remember exactly when he first wrote, “Observe and Record” in one of his journals, but he uses that phrase from time time to remind himself why he writes. He has participated in poetry readings in New Hope, Newtown, Trenton, Philadelphia, and Souderton, where many of this book’s poems have been performed. He’s worked as a department store Santa Claus, a stadium beer vendor, window washer, bartender, waiter, cook, proofreader, newspaper production and teacher. His work has been seen in The Mill Hunk Herald, The North Colorado Review and the Bucks County Playhouse Best of Talk Story 2014.