Winner of the 2017 Antivenom Poetry Award, Elixir Press

2018 Florida Book Award medalist

Named a “favorite poetry book of 2018” by Largehearted Boy and by The Adroit Journal

A Sundress Publications “Best Dressed” selection

“Hoover exhumes the skeletons buried neatly behind the white picket fences of modern America in a debut that is rife with outspoken disillusionment. … [This] candid portrait of normalized cruelty is likely to get readers to question their own malignant perceptions and passivity in the face of injustice.” [Read the full review]
— Publishers Weekly

“Hoover’s debut poetry collection is a fitting attempt to kick down staid, prim, even academic poetic doors.” [Read the full review]


Now available
Small Press Distribution


Interviews About Barnburner
The Rumpus
Adroit Journal
Queen Mob’s Teahouse
The Drum podcast
Largehearted Boy “Book Notes”
The Pinch
Rob McLennan
Connotation Press
Tallahassee Magazine


Barnburner cover

More Praise:

“What is immediately unique about Erin Hoover’s Barnburner—a poetry collection that is also, comfortably, a collection of essays, or short stories in free verse—is that the narrators in Hoover’s poems are deeply culpable. … Hoover plays the part of both nuisance and destroyer with equal nuance, privileging neither, weighing judgment on both. ‘The wheel stops for us,’ she says in ‘The Valkyrie,’ the collection’s closing poem. There is little doubt who ‘us’ refers to. In Hoover’s poems, we’re all lashed to the same wheel.” [Read the full review]
— Keith McCleary, Entropy


“This is the central strength of Barnburner: these are the voices of real people saying real things. Their music comes just as much from this knife-like plainsong as it does from the precise, daily imagery they hold: dirty jeans, chainsaws, Coors beer, mini-malls, the Port Authority Bus Station.” [Read the full review]
— Dina Strasser, EcoTheo


“Perhaps more than anything, what propels both of these collections and poets forward is fire. The smoldering fire built of their frustrations as they fight to become full-throated female poets in the millennial age. … Of course Hoover’s title, Barnburner, is the first sign of this theme, and in the front of book an epigraph from the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins explains: ‘According to an old story, there was once a Dutchman who was so bothered by rats that he burned down the barn to get rid of them. Thus a barn burner became one who destroyed all in order to get rid of a nuisance.’ But there are so many ‘nuisances’ to name in Hoover’s collection that they overwhelm, and so she puts her own twist on this concept, her goal becoming instead to burn everything for the purpose of saving just one precious thing: the self.” [Read the full review]
— Julia Bouwsma, Poetry Northwest (reviewed with Analicia Sotelo’s Virgin)


“There is an impotent rage buried in the female body and boiling to the surface. The anger runs the length of each poem, like a cigarette burned down and snubbed out.”
— Jayme Russell, Pleiades


Barnburner is replete with powerful and timely character studies. Each character, whether a bad boss, a junkie, a peer on a different path, a boyfriend, or a mugger is examined with the same mordant empathy Hoover is incredibly adept at employing.” [Read the full review]
Peter H. Michaels, PANK


Barnburner implores the reader not only to question, but to deconstruct a flawed cultural system.” [Read the full review]
— Stephanie Walls, Grist Journal


“Even as they explore a wide range of topics—our fraught relationship with the technologies we have created, our desperate source for love in all the wrong places, our self-medication, our work-lives, our hunger for that which outlives us (whether children or creative work)—the poems in Barnburner form a cohesive whole. … In short, these are poems that no reader should miss, poems that make us wince and sober us up.” [Read the full review]
— Devon Balwit, Glass: A Journal of Poetry


Read Kathyrn Nuernberger’s introduction

Read more about Erin

Upcoming and past events

Publicist: Sheryl Johnston, All Things Literary
[email Sheryl] [download media kit]