Tim Barnes has published five books of poetry, Mother and the Mangos (a one-poem book illustrated by Angelina Marino-Heidel, M Kimberly Press and Charles Seluzicki Fine Books, 1991), Star Hill Farm and the Grain of What is Gone (Skookum’s Tongue Press, 1994), Falling through Leaves (Marino Press, 1995), Of Almonds and Angels (Skookum’s Tongue Press, 2007), Definitions for a Lost Language (Skookum’s Tongue Press, 2010). His poems and essays have been published in a number of journals and magazines, among them Basalt, Poet Lore, Cloudbank, Cutbank, Oregon English, South Dakota Review, and Xanadu.
He is also co-writer of a biographical anthology, Wood Works: The Life and Writings of Charles Erskine Scott Wood (Oregon State University Press, 1997) and the creator/compiler of a children’s book (illustrated by Angelina Marino-Heidel and based on a poem by William Stafford), Everyone Out Here Knows: A Big Foot Tale (Arnica Creative Services, 2014). He currently edits Friends of William Stafford: A Journal & Newsletter for Poets and Poetry.
Tim was born in 1946 in Palo Alto, California. His mother was a novelist and his father a radio playwright. He is married to Ilka Kuznik, an ESOL teacher and photographer. He has two grown children, Caitlin and Gabriel, and a grandson, Jaxen. He has a BA in English from San Jose State (1970) and an MA in American literature from Portland State University (1976). During the Vietnam War he served two years of alternative service as a conscientious objector at a home for disturbed children in Campbell, California. He worked in the Artists-in-Education Program in Oregon for ten years and was in the English department at Portland Community College for twenty-five years, where he taught composition, literature, and creative writing. He was chair of the creative writing department for seven years and adviser on the Sylvania Campus literary magazine, Alchemy, for seventeen years.
He is interested in poetry, mythology, the Bible as literature, environmental ethics, language (endangered languages in particular), and western American literature, especially in the works of CES Wood, William Stafford, Richard Hugo, John Steinbeck, Robinson Jeffers, Philip Levine, Gary Snyder, and Willa Cather. He is also quite fond of the work of Christopher Marlowe, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Isak Dinesen, and Kenneth Patchen. And, of course, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.
At this moment, he believes that literature in general and poetry in particular is a saving grace, something made to bring the world together, writer by reader, reader by writer, for a moment, sometimes a little longer, an aesthetically driven survival technique for the heart and what it imagines it holds—the flesh and all its failings, feelings, and flights.