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Barbara Marie Minney’s fourth collection of poetry entitled A Woman in Progress has been recently published by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions. Copies are available for purchase from the author or at:





Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, award winning poet, writer, speaker, teaching artist, and quiet activist. Her poetry and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Politico, The Buckeye Flame, The Gasconade Review, Gargoyle Magazine, The Pine Cone Review, Women Speak: Women of Appalachia Project, Woman Scream: The International Poetry Anthology of Female Voices, The New Wasteland, new words (issue one): a trans and gender-expansive journal, and I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing, Ohio’s Appalachian Voices. Barbara’s poetry has also been translated into Spanish. She is the author of If There’s No Heaven, the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and an Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Book in 2020; the Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge; and Dance Naked With God. Barbara is a retired attorney and a seventh-generation Appalachian and lives in Tallmadge, Ohio, with her wife of over 42 years and a menagerie of stuffed animals. You can follow Barbara at:




A Woman in Progress is confessional poetry infused with a sense of desperation and melancholy and a very personal and candid exploration of angst and personal struggle. However, underlying it all, there is also a deep and authentic sense of joy and triumph. Climb aboard this roller coaster ride through the mind of a transgender woman on her journey of perseverance and acceptance of her own uniqueness.


Brave and bighearted! Barbara Marie Minney’s A Woman in Progress is a striking volume, sensitive and stirring, its speaker demonstrating quiet power in the face of formidable challenges. More than well worth reading, this is Minney’s best work yet.

—John Burroughs, U.S. Beat Poet Laureate 2022-2023

“Beauty out of chaos / creating our own divine presence”: Barbara Marie Minney’s tender words to her wife also read like a mission statement for these fiercely vulnerable hymns to transformation and truth. Minney hides neither her flaws nor her radiance in this portrait of a trans woman for whom ‘progress’ means refusing to skip over darkness on her way to wholeness.

––June Gervais, author of the novel Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair

Barbara Marie Minney’s fourth book of poetry, A Woman in Progress, is a gem. It not only outlines but conveys the soul of their story of transformation––warts and all. Their poetry grabs you by the scruff of your neck, draws you into their experience, and helps you understand the depth of their emotions, and the courage it took to begin their journey. And a journey it is, one such as the majority of us never have or will experience, other than through Barbara’s intimate sharing of their words. A MUST READ for those who wish to have a greater understanding.

––Doc Janning, Inaugural Poet Laureate of South Euclid, Ohio

The poems in Barbara Marie Minney’s A Woman in Progress are grounded in pain and love, but also in defiance and power, revealing risks she has taken and myths she’s had to battle as a transgender woman. In these pages, the cultural becomes personal. Minney’s legal background infuses the language with clarity as it challenges suppression and erasure, while her exploration of poetic form infuses the poetry with energy and tension. Her voice is honest, astute, vulnerable, and sensual, exploring her role as a woman, actualized, searching to feel whole in the world, rejoicing in the love she has found. The title poem, aptly an erasure, interrogates myths of masculinity and femininity, while affirming power on her own terms. “I am in charge. I am the storm.” As Adrienne Rich says, in “Diving into the Wreck, “ “I came to explore the wreck. / The words are purposes. / The words are maps. / I came to see the damage that was done/ and the treasures that prevail.”

––Bonnie Proudfoot, author of Goshen Road, a novel (Swallow Press), WCONA’s Book of the Year, and Household Gods, (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions)

Barbara Marie Minney presents us with a slim volume of expansive work. A Woman in Progress certainly speaks in ways that might surprise each reader: lines that resonate deeply, or the turn of a phrase that catches us unaware. Or the revelations and resolutions that speak to a life being lived authentically. In “Rainbow on the Bathroom Rug: Akron Pride,” Minney tells us of her “chance to rejoice in my own uniqueness.” Indeed, the entirety of the collection speaks to a life running headlong into recognizing, accepting, and embracing her uniqueness. The opening poem “No Experience Needed,” perfectly sets the scene for the reader, as she shows us that Barbara Marie Minney is boldly claiming her path through life through her words. I’ve been moved, changed even, by her work.

–– M. Lynne Squires, Pushcart Prize-nominated author of Letters to My Son: Reflections of Appalachia at Mid-Century


Purchase your copy today!

Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, award-winning poet, writer, speaker, teaching artist, guest reader/editor, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and a seventh generation Appalachian. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and an Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Book of 2020. Barbara is also the author of the "Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge (2021)," "Dance Naked with God (2023)," and "A Woman in Progress (2024)." Follow her at

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