Jim Barnes was born in Summerfield, Leflore County, Oklahoma. He describes himself as being one-eighth Choctaw, one-fourth Welsh, and the remainder mongrel American. He is married to Dr. Cora Barnes McKown, rancher, artist, and designer. Jim Barnes is fluent in English and French, with some knowledge of the Choctaw language. He is the author of nine volumes of poetry and two volumes of poetry translation. He was an American Book Award recipient for his work, On Native Ground. His 1992 book of poetry, The Sawdust War (University of Illinois Press), won the Oklahoma Center for the Book Award in Poetry. Jim Barnes has been Distinguished Professor of English and Writing, at Brigham Young University, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also filled the position of Writer-in-Residence and Professor of Comparative Literature, at Northeast Missouri State University, in Kirksville, Missouri. He is Oklahoma's Poet Laureate for 2009/2010.
Ph.D. and M.A. in Comparative Literature, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. B.A. in English, Drama, and French, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, Oklahoma. Graduate of LeFlore High School, LeFlore, Oklahoma.
1978 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. 1980 Translation Prize from The Translation Center, Columbia University, for Summons and Sign. 1980 Pushcart Prize for Poetry. 1984 Faculty Enrichment Grant from the Canadian Government (Malcolm Lowry research). 1989 St. Louis Poetry Center's Stanley Hanks Memorial Award (Philip Levine, judge). 1990 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship (Italy). 1992 Summer Writer-in-Residence, University of Maryland Far East Division. 1993 Oklahoma Book Award for The Sawdust War. 1993 and 1994 Senior Fulbright Fellowship to Switzerland. 1994 Poet-in-Residence at Paris Writers' Workshop (France). 1995 Translator-in-Residence at Villa Walberta (Munich, Germany). 1996 U.S. Representative at Prague Writers' Festival (Czech Republic). 1996 Camargo Foundation Fellowship (Cassis, France). 1998 Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship (Stuttgart, Germany). 1998 American Book Award for On Native Ground. 2000 Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship, continued (Stuttgart, Germany). 2001 Second Camargo Foundation Fellowship (Cassis, France). 2003 Second Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowhip (Italy). 2008 The Tim McGinnis Award from The Iowa Review for Five Villanelles. 2009 through 2010 Poet Laureate of Oklahoma.
Native son and presently legal resident.
POETRY This Crazy Land. Temple, AZ : Porch Publications, 1980. The Fish on Poteau Mountain. DeKalb, IL.: Cedar Creek Press, 1980. Nick, Dagmar. Summons and Sign. Translated from the German by Jim Barnes. Kirksville, MO: Chariton Review Press, 1980. The American Book of the Dead. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1982. A Season of Loss. West Lafayette, IN.: Purdue University Press, 1985. La Plata Cantata. Lafayette, IN.: Purdue University Press, 1989. The Sawdust War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. Paris. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997. Nick, Dagmar. Numbered Days. Translated by Jim Barnes. Kirksville, MO.: New Odyssey Press, 1998. On the Wing of the Sun. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001. Visiting Picasso. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007.
LITERARY CRITICISM Fiction of Malcolm Lowry and Thomas Mann: Structural Tradition. Kirksville, MO.: T. Jefferson University Press, 1990.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.
Yes, for Adults. Fee: $1,000 out of state; $500 in state, plus expenses; except appearances as Poet Laureate during 2009 and 2010.
For additional information on author: Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Vol. 28, 1998.; Native American Writers of the United States. 1997.; Two Thousand Notable Americans. 1980.; The Directory of Distinguished Americans. 1988.; Contemporary Authors. Vol. 108; updated edition Vol. 272, 2009.; Dictionary of International Biography. 32nd Edition. 2005.; Contemporary Who's Who of Professionals. 2004-2005.; and A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers. 2009.