Barnes to Read Poetry at SWOSU as part of National Library Week


2008-04-10dChoctaw poet and writer Jim Weaver McKown Barnes will read some of his poetry on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University this Thursday, April 17, at 3:30 p.m. as part of National Library Week activities.

The public is invited to attend the event at the Al Harris Library’s Instruction Room.

Barnes will also meet with SWOSU Language Arts classes on campus earlier that day.

He has given readings of his work at many college campuses, both nationally and internationally. Barnes was born and grew up in Summerfield, Oklahoma. He received his B.A. degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arkansas.

Barnes was a professor of comparative literature and writer-in-residence at Truman State University from 1970 to 2003.  After retiring from Truman State, he was Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at Brigham Young University. He has held membership in many organizations, including the Associated Writing Programs, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, PEN American Center, and PEN Center USA West.  He was chair of the Camargo Foundation Creative Writing Selection Committee from 2001-2007.

Barnes has published several works of poetry and one major work of non-fiction prose, On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions, which was named finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in Non-Fiction in 1998.  Some of his published works of poetry include The Sawdust War: Poems; Paris: Poem; On a Wing of the Sun: Three Volumes of Poetry; and his latest book, Visiting Picasso, which was published in 2007. His poems appear in over 40 anthologies.

He is the founding editor of the Chariton Review Press and editor of The Chariton Review.  He is also a contributing editor to the Pushcart Prize. He has published over 500 poems in more than 100 journals, including Poetry, Sewanee Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, The Chicago Review, The American Scholar, Prairie Schooner, and Georgia Review.

He and his wife, Cora Barnes McKown, now make their home outside of Atoka on the McKown family ranch and in Santa Fe, N.M.