Jim Barnes | Oklahoma Poet
December 7, 2007
It was our pleasure this week to welcome soft-spoken Oklahoma poet Jim Barnes to the show. He is of Choctaw and Welsh descent, but says that his blood doesn’t write the poems — his head does that. His newest book of poetry is filled with haunts and stories, and is available from the University of Illinois Press. It’s called “Visiting Picasso.”
To find out more about Jim Barnes, visit his website at: www.jimbarnes.org
This is the complete biography from his website:
Jim Weaver McKown Barnes, of Choctaw and Welsh ancestry, was born and grew up in Summerfield, Oklahoma. He received his B.A. from Southeastern State College in Durant, OK (now Southeastern Oklahoma State University) in 1964 and his M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1972) from the University of Arkansas. He taught at Truman State University from 1970 to 2003, where he was Professor of Comparative Literature and Writer-in-Residence. After retiring from Truman State, he was Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at Brigham Young University. Jim married Cora Barnes McKown, artist and designer, in 2006. They now make their home a few miles east of Atoka, Oklahoma, on the McKown family ranch, and in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Jim is the founding editor of the Chariton Review Press and editor of The Chariton Review. He is also a contributing editor to the Pushcart Prize. He has published over 500 poems in more than 100 journals, including Poetry, Sewanee Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, The Chicago Review, The American Scholar, Prairie Schooner and Georgia Review. His translations have also been published in journals, such as Translation, New Letters, Nimrod, Sycamore Review and Black Moon. His short stories have appeared in New Letters, Flyway, Connecticut Review, Texas Review, North American Review, South Dakota Review, Iowa Review, Descant, Sou’wester, Gargoyle, among others.
His community service involves membership in many organizations, including the Associated Writing Programs, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, PEN American Center, and PEN Center USA West. He has sat on several National Endowment for the Arts committees. He was Chair of the Camargo Foundation Creative Writing Selection Committee from 2001 through 2007. He is presently Poetry Editor for the Truman State University Press.
Jim Barnes has given readings of his work at many campuses, such as Texas A & M University, Baylor University, Austin College, Simon’s Rock College, San Jose State University, the University of South Carolina, Villa Serbelloni (Bellagio, Italy), Brigham Young University, University of Missouri at Columbia, Duke University, University of Arizona, Stephens College, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska – Lincoln and Omaha, Oklahoma State University, Brigham Young University, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, University of California – Berkeley, Riverside, and Santa Cruz, Cal Poly Tech – San Luis Obispo, Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France), University of Lausanne, University of Geneva, Villa Walberta (Munich, Germany), University of Stuttgart, Charles University (Prague), Ostrava University (Czech Republic), Olomouc University (Czech Republic), Viola Theatre (Prague), Pompidou Centre (Paris), and so on.
His new book of poetry is Visiting Picasso (University of Illinois Press, 2007).