Barwin was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He emigrated to Ottawa, Ontario in the early 1970s.
He attended York University where he studied writing with bpNichol and Frank Davey, and music with David Mott, James Tenney, and Trichy Sankaran, graduating with a B.F.A. in Music and a B.A. in creative writing in 1985. He earned a Ph.D. in music composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1995.
Barwin taught music at Hillfield Strathallan College from 2001 to 2010. He also has taught creative writing in the Certificate in Writing Program at McMaster University. In addition to his many books, he is the author of numerous chapbooks, and pamphlets, many from his own Serif of Nottingham Editions. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies.
He lives with his wife and 3 children in Hamilton, Ontario, where he directs the Niagara Regional Rhyme Gland Laboratory for the National Rhyme Institute. His music and writing have been presented in Canada, the United States, Japan, and Europe.
He writes in a range of genres including poetry, fiction, visual and concrete poetry, music for live performers and computers, text & sound works, and writing for children and young adults.
He was the recipient of the 1998 Artist Award from the KM Hunter Foundation. Seeing Stars, a young adult (YA) novel, was a 2001 finalist for the CLA YA book of the year, and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award. In 2010, Barwin was a co-winner (with Sandra Ridley) of the bpNichol Chapbook Award for his book Inverting the Deer (serif of nottingham, 2009).
- Edwin. Toronto: Serif of Nottingham, 1985.
- Phases of the Harpsichord Moon. Toronto: Serif of Nottingham, 1985.
- King Arthur Was a Mountie. Hamilton, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1987.
- A Million Dollars. Toronto: Serif of Nottingham, 1987.
- The Birthday. Toronto: Gesture Press, 1988.
- I Parked My Car behind Loblaws and Knew I Would Never Die: Poems. Toronto: Pink Dog Press, 1989.
- Rover. St. Catharines, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1989.
- Balletto. St. Catharines, ON: Serif of Nottingham, [1989?]
- Lunguage: A short history of breath. St. Catharines, ON: Serif of Nottingham, [1989?]
- Toward Windword (with J.W. Curry). Toronto: Curved H&Z / Ottawa: Serif of Nottingham, 1989.
- Mollusks of Jealousy; or, The unshaven veranda of the iguana's heart. Hamilton, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1991.
- The Stars are a Pale Pox on the Sky's Dark Chicken. Hamilton, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1991.
- Martin's Idea. Hamilton, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1991.
- The Iridescent Phlegm of Bagpipers Glorius with Flu. Hamilton, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1992.
- Scar. Hamilton, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1994.
- A Flapping Red Flag. Hamilton, ON: Serif of Nottingham, 1995.
- Cruelty to Fabulous Animals (poetry/fiction). Moonstone Press 1995.
- Outside the Hat. Toronto: Coach House, 1998.
- Studies in Microscansion #1. Calgary, AB: Housepress, 2000.
- Raising Eyebrows. Toronto: Coach House, 2001.
- Frogments from the Frag Pool: Haiku after Basho (with Derek Beaulieu). Toronto: Mercury, 2005.
- The Porcupinity of the Stars. Toronto: Coach House, 2010.
- Short History of Dust: Shakespeare's sonnets, 1-20. Calgary, AB: No Press, 2010.
- Franzlations: The Kafka parables (by Gary Barwin, Craig Conley, & Hugh Thomas). Vancouver: New Star, 2011.
- The Obvious Flap (with Gregory Betts). Toronto: BookThug, 2011.
- Seedpod Microfiche. Maxville, ON: above/ground, 2013.
- Moon Baboon Canoe. Toronto: Mansfield Press, 2014.
- The Mud Game (with Stuart Ross). Stratford, ON: Mercury Press, 1995.
- Big Red Baby. Toronto: Mercury, 1998.
- Doctor Weep, and other strange teeth: Stories. Toronto: Mercury, 2004.
- The Racing Worm Brothers (illustrated by Kitty Macaulay). Toronto: Annick Press, 1998.
- The Magic Mustache (illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch). Toronto & New York: Annick Press, 1999.
- Grandpa's Snowman (illustrated by Kitty Macaulay). Toronto: Annick Press, 2000.
- Seeing Stars. Toronto: Stoddart, 2001.
Audio / videoEdit
- These Are The Clams I'm Breathing, (audiocassette), sound poetry, collaboration with Stuart Ross).
- Recurring Irritations: Document One (Taproot 33) Burning Press, 1992.
- Martin's Idea (spoken word / music, work for reciter), Musicworks CD #60, 1994.
See also Edit
- Gary Barwin at the Poetry Foundation
- Barwin, Gary (1964-) (3 poems) at Representative Poetry Online.
- Gary Barwin - Three poems at Canadian Poetries
- Gary Barwin at The Rusty Toque (3 poems)
- Three poems at The Puritan
- Gary Barwin at ditch (7 poems)
- Audio / video
- Gary Barwin at Amazon.com
- Gary Barwin at Coach House Books
- Gary Barwin Official website.
- serif of nottingblog: Gary Barwin's weblog
- Online Interviews with Gary Barwin: Lemon Hound blog (2008), Rob McLennan’s blog (2008), Torontoist (2010), OpenBook Toronto (2010),
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