John Barton was UNB’s 29th writer-in-residence for the 2010-2011 academic year. John Barton was born in Edmonton in 1957, but grew up in Calgary. He started writing poetry in his mid-to-late teenage years, taking his first creative writing class a few years later when attending the University of Alberta in 1977. He then received a creative writing degree from the University of Victoria. John Barton is a self-professed gay poet (not, he says, a poet who happens to be gay), and has worked to bolster Canadian L.G.B.T. literature. He has done this through his poetry, his time as an editor on various magazines, and the anthology he co-edited with Billeh Nickerson called Seminal; The Anthology of Canada's Gay Male Poets. He has worked as the editor of The Malahat Review, Vernissage, and as co-editor of Arc. He has been the recipient of many awards, most notably the Patricia Hackett Prize, the Ottawa Book Award, the Archibald Lampman Award (which Barton won three different times), the 2003 CBC Literary Award, and the 2006 National Magazine Award.
He read from his poetry collection Hymn September 16th, 2010, at Memorial Hall; for UNBSJ’s Lorenzo reading series on March 17th, 2011; he read at Queeer Literary Coffeehouse event on March 29th, 2011; and also did a farewell reading on April 12th, 2011 in Memorial Hall.
"For the gay male poet, the range, parameters, and depth of potential themes at last are limitless. Still, simply to imagine that the social changes improving our queer lives might have been triggered by more heterosexuals following our subliminal cues and less by our persistent demand for an equal (poetic) voice could turn any understanding of a century's progress on its pink-lined ear."
UA Case 191; Section 2; John Barton
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