John Barton

John Barton. Courtesy Canadian Poetry Online.

John Barton
Born John Barton
Edmonton, Alberta
Occupation Poet
Language English
Nationality Canada Canadian

John Barton (born 1957) is a Canadian poet.


Barton was born in Edmonton, and raised in Calgary, Alberta.[1] He studied at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Quebec, Victoria University, and Columbia University in New York.

He originally wanted to study architecture, but did poorly in calculus and was enrolled in English courses in the Faculté Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta. He became a poet upon realization that there were fewer factors affecting his ability to excel in his chosen vocation.[2]

In 1986, he graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with a Master of Library and Information Science.[3] Also, Barton studied Book Editing at the Banff Publishing Centre in 1994.[4]

Barton studied poetry with Eli Mandel, Gary Geddes, Robin Skelton, Joseph Brodsky, and Daniel Halpern. Since 1980 his poems have appeared in 75 magazines and 30 anthologies in North America, the United Kingdom, India, and Australia.[5]

Barton was co-editor of Arc poetry magazine, from 1990 to 1995.[6] He edits The Malahat Review[7] and is poetry editor for Winnipeg's Signature Editions. He co-founded the Poem of the Year Contest in 1996. He was writer in residence at the Saskatoon Public Library.[8] Additionally he worked as a librarian and editor for five museums in Ottawa.[9] He has lived in Victoria, British Columbia since 2004.

He and Billeh Nickerson co-edited Seminal: The anthology of Canada’s gay nale poets (2007). In 2012 his Selected Poems were published.

WritingEdit on Seminal: The anthology of Canada’s gay male poets: "John Barton’s preface is a mini-thesis of Canadian poetic history blended with enlightening facts about being gay in Canada. It is comprehensive, educational and filled with interesting details."[10]


  • Patricia Hackett Prize for Poetry, University of Western Australia, 1986.
  • Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry, 1988, for West of Darkness: a portrait of Emily Carr.
  • Archibald Lampman Award (Ottawa Independent Writers) 1995, for Designs from the Interior.
  • Ottawa-Carleton Book Award, Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, 1995, for Notes toward a Family Tree.
  • Lansdowne Visitor, University of Victoria, 1998.
  • Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry, 1999 for Sweet Ellipsis.
  • CBC Literary Award (Second Prize), 2003.[11]
  • National Magazine Award (Silver), 2006.[11]

Except where noted, award information courtesy the University of Toronto.[12]



  • A Poor Photographer. Victoria, BC: Sono Nis Press, 1981.
  • Hidden Structure. Victoria, BC:: Ekstasis Editions, 1984.
  • West of Darkness: A portrait of Emily Carr. Kapuskasing, ON: Penumbra Press, 1987.
    • also published as West of Darkness: Emily Carr, a self-portrait (2nd Revised edition). Vancouver, BC: Beach Holme, 1999.
  • Great Men. Kingston, ON: Quarry Press, 1990.
  • Notes Toward a Family Tree. Kingston, ON: Quarry Press, 1993. ISBN 978-1-55082-066-9
  • Designs from the Interior. Toronto: House of Anansi, 1994. ISBN 978-0-88784-558-1
  • Destinations, Leaving the Map (chapbook). Maxville, ON: above/ground press, 1995.
  • Sweet Ellipsis. Ottawa: ECW Press, 1998. ISBN 978-1-55022-354-5
  • Shroud: Four poems (chapbook). Viola Leaflets, 1999. ISBN 978-0-9684308-0-4
  • Oxygen. Maxville, ON: above/ground press, 1999.
  • Hypothesis. Toronto: Anansi, 2001. ISBN 978-0-88784-659-5
  • Runoff (chapbook). Viola Leaflets, 2003. ISBN 978-0-9684308-1-1
  • Anxiety. Maxville, ON: above/ground press, 1999.
  • Asymmetries. Victoria, BC: Frog Hollow Press, 2004.
  • The Strata. Victoria, BC: Frog Hollow Press, 2004.
  • In the House of the Present. Victoria, BC: Frog Hollow Press, 2004.
  • Hymn. London, ON: Brick Books, 2009.
  • For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected poems. Gibsons, BC: Nightwood Editions, 2012.
  • Polari. Fredericton, NB: Icehouse Poetry, 2014.



  • Silences, 1992. Toronto: League of Canadian Poets, 1994.
  • Belles Lettres = Beautiful Letters, 1994. Toronto: League of Canadian Poets, 1995.
  • We All Begin in a Little Magazine: Arc and the promise of Canada's poets. Ottawa: Arc Poetry Society / Carleton University Press, 1998.
  • Seminal: The anthology of Canada's gay male poets (edited with Billeh Nickerson). Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007.[11] ISBN: 978-1-55152-217-3
John Barton reads from Hymn (Brick Books)

John Barton reads from Hymn (Brick Books)

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[14]

See alsoEdit



  1. John Barton, League of Canadian Poets. Web, Mar. 27, 2017.
  10. M. Maylor, Review of Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets,, Nov. 19, 2007, Shadow Box Creative Media Ltd., Web, June 29, 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 John Barton, Member Directory, League of Canadian Poets. Web, Mar. 27, 2017.
  12. John Barton: Awards and honours, , Canadian Poetry Online, University of Toronto Libraries,, Web, Mar. 27, 2017.
  13. John Barton, Trends in Canadian Poetry, Educational Insights, 11(1), Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. Web, Mar. 27, 2017.
  14. Search results = au:John Barton, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Mar. 27, 2017.

External linksEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.