Born in New York City, in 1969, John Wall Barger is the author of four collections of poetry: The Mean Game (Palimpsest Press, 2019); The Book of Festus (Palimpsest, 2015), finalist for the JM Abraham Poetry Award; Hummingbird (Palimpsest, 2012), finalist for the Raymond Souster Award; and Pain-proof Men (Palimpsest, 2009); and three chapbooks: Dying in Dharamsala (Alfred Gustav Press, 2018); Samovar / Dukkha (Baseline Press, 2016), and The Vnfortunate Report & Tragicall Tidings of Leslie Barger (Thee Hellbox Press, 2016).
The 2017 co-winner of The Malahat Review’s 2017 Long Poem Prize, for “Smog Mother,” Barger has been shortlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize twice (2011, 2013), has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry (2008, 2015) and Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2017), and was a finalist for Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest (2002). His poems have been widely published and anthologized, appearing in American Poetry Review, The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Awl, Subtropics, Vallum, Pleiades, Poetry Ireland Review, Antioch Review, Cimarron Review, Fiddlehead, Literary Matters, American Literary Review, Subtropics, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere.
Barger has twice received the Canada Council Grant for Professional Writers, Mid-Career (2013, 2019), and numerous Creation Grants from the Nova Scotia Arts Council. He has attended the Writing Studio at the Banff Centre twice (2006, 2010). After moving to Canada in 1975, Barger grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has since lived in Italy, Ireland, Finland, Hong Kong, and India. He and his wife, the philosopher Tiina Rosenqvist, now live in West Philadelphia, where he is an editor for Painted Bride Quarterly.