John Barton was born in Edmonton in 1957 and raised in Calgary. He was educated at the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Quebec, and Victoria, and at Columbia University in New York, studying poetry with Gary Geddes, Eli Mandel, Robin Skelton, Daniel Halpern, and Joseph Brodsky. Since 1980, his poems have appeared in over thirty anthologies and seventy-five magazines across Canada and in the United States, Australia, India, and the United Kingdom. He worked as a librarian and editor for five national museums in Ottawa from 1985 to 2003, where he also co-edited Arc: Canada's National Poetry Magazine for thirteen years and Vernissage: The Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada for two years. He was poetry editor for Winnipeg's Signature Editions from 2005 to 2008 and the 28th writer in residence at the Saskatoon Public Library in 2008/2009. He lives in Victoria where he is the editor of The Malahat Review.
Patricia Hackett Prize, University of Western Australia, 1986.
Archibald Lampman Award, 1988, 1995, 1999.
Ottawa Book Award, 1995
CBC Literary Awards, Poetry Category (Second Prize), 2003.
National Magazines Awards, Poetry Category (Silver), 2006.
A Poor Photographer (Sono Nis, 1981)
Hidden Structure. (Ekstasis Editions, 1984).
West of Darkness: A Portrait of Emily Carr. (Penumbra Press, 1987).
Great Men. (Quarry Press, 1990).
Notes Toward a Family Tree. (Quarry Press, 1993).
A Poor Photographer. (Sono Nis Press, 1981).
Designs from the Interior. (House of Anansi Press, 1994).
Sweet Ellipsis. (ECW Press, 1998).
Hypothesis (House of Anansi Press, 2001)
Asymmetries (Frog Hollow Press, 2004)
Hymn (Brick Books, 2009)
We All Begin in a Little Magazine (co-editor, Carleton University Press, 1998)
Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay Male Poets (co-editor, Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007) ISBN: 978-1-55152-217-3
Open Country: Canadian Poetry in English (Robert Lecker, editor., Thomson-Nelson, 2008) ISBN: 978-0-17-610399-6
Books in Print
West of Darkness, Emily Carr, a Self-Portrait (Beach Holme Publishing, 1999) ISBN: 0-88878-402-3, $12.95
Shroud (Viola Leaflets, 1999) ISBN: 0-9684308-0-5, $6.00
Runoff (Viola Leaflets, 2003) ISBN: 0-9684308-1-3, $7.00
West of darkness : Emily Carr : a self-portrait / À l'ouest de l'ombre : Emily Carr : un autoportrait, translated by Arlette Francière, bilingual edition (BusheckBooks, 2006) ISBN 1-894543-35-1, $15.00
Hymn (Brick Books, 2009) ISBN: 978-1-894078-76-4, $19.00