The University of Wisconsin Press



The Royal Baker’s Daughter
Barbara Goldberg

The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
Ronald Wallace, General Editor

Winner of the 2008 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by David St. John

These poems, at once elegant and earthy, reveal the inner workings of the human psyche and show us that sometimes the best defense against terror is making mischief. The Royal Baker's daughter was raised on a diet of stone soup and the occasional leftover royal treat. This leaves her with an appetite for authenticity. With nothing but her two deft hands to guide her, she embarks on a journey into the dark forest, “where sticks and stones and absolutes reign and nothing, even sin, is original.”

“Fated to be fickle in food as in love. Not one flavor that she craves but a lick of this, of that. Sauerkraut and caraway, pickled beets, mutton, and leeks. This does not even touch upon the subject of sweets, for her nonnegotiable, as for others, faith. She takes her lumps of sugar straight. Or with crushed poppy seed to make a paste. Dusted over dumplings, powdered over cake. Never having swilled mother’s milk, nutmeg in her coffee, black.”
—excerpt from “Fortune’s Darling”

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“In Barbara Goldberg’s marvelous collection, The Royal Baker’s Daughter, cooking itself stands as a metaphor for devotion to the fruits of the earth and to the creation of human hopes. . . . Goldberg understands that, at times, only a sense of fable allows us to fully understand our own shifting, incomprehensible lives. . . . These poems show us how we sometimes choose to devour—over and over again, often relishing their texture—those very wounds that have made us who we are and what we have come to believe.” —David St. John, Felix Pollak Prize judge

  Photo credit: Jill Finsen
Barbara Goldberg is the author of Berta Broadfoot and Pepin the Short: A Merovingian Romance; Cautionary Tales (winner of the Camden Poetry Award); and Marvelous Pursuits (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Award). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, and The Gettysburg Review. She is the coeditor of two anthologies of contemporary Israeli poetry, including After the First Rain: Israeli Poems on War and Peace. Goldberg is senior speechwriter at AARP and teaches speechwriting, poetry, and translation at Georgetown University and at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Cover of book is black with white type and an illustration of a woman wearing a green top.

Spring 2008
LC: 2007039953 PS
88 pp. 6 x 9

Paper $14.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-22724-1 
Cloth $26.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22720-3
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Updated April 24, 2012

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