Tony Barnstone

Professor Tony BarnstoneAlbert Upton Professor of English Language and Literature
Department of English Language and Literature

562.907.4200 ext. 4335
tbarnstone@whittier.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academic History

B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
M.A., PhD. University of California, Berkeley

Academic Focus

  • Creative Writing
  • Literary Translation
  • Modern American Poetry
  • Twentieth Century American Literature
  • East Asian Literature

Tony Barnstone, is a Professor of English at Whittier College and the author of eighteen books. He is a prolific poet, author, essayist, and literary translator. In addition to his numerous published books, his work has appeared in dozens of American literary journals, from APR to Poetry.

Barnstone's first book of poetry, Impure, a finalist for the Walt Whitman Prize of the Academy of American Poets, the National Poetry Series Prize, and other national literary competitions, appeared with the University Press of Florida in June of 1999. In 2002, he authored a chapbook of poems, Naked Magic (Main Street Rag) and Sad Jazz: Sonnets, appeared in 2005 with Sheep Meadow Press. His subsequent book of poems, The Golem of Los Angeles, won the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry and was published in late 2007 by Red Hen Press. Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, published in 2009, is a book of dramatic monologues set in the Pacific during the Second World War. Tongue of War won a fellowship from the NEA, the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry, the Poets Prize, and the Silver Award of the Independent Publishers Book Awards. His selected poetry, Buda en Llamas: Antología Poética (1999-2012) appeared in a bilingual Spanish-English edition with Ediciones El Tucán de Virginia (Mexico City) in 2014, with translations by Mariano Zaro.  In 2014, Barnstone’s 5th book of poems, Beast in the Apartment, appeared with Sheep Meadow Press.  His latest poetry book is Pulp Sonnets (Tupelo Press 2015), based on 20 years of research into classic pulp fiction, Gothic literature, B movies and comic books.  The book has been illustrated by distinguished Iranian artist Amin Mansouri, making it something like a graphic novel in verse.

Barnstone’s books of translation include Chinese Erotic Poems (Everyman Press, 2007), The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry (Anchor Books, 2005), The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters (Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1996), Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry (Wesleyan University Press, 1993), Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Selected Poems of Wang Wei (University Press of New England, 1991), and River Merchant’s Wife by Ming Di (translated from the Chinese by Tony Barnstone, Neil Aitken, Afaa Weaver, Katie Farris & Sylvia Burn with the author, Marick Press, 2013).

He is also the editor of several world literature textbooks and the anthologies Poems Dead and Undead (Everyman Press, 2014).  Human and Inhuman Monster Verse (Everyman Press, 2015).

 Among his awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the California Arts Council, as well as the Poets Prize, the Grand Prize of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry, and the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry.   
 

Recently he has been doing multimedia work.  He is working with artist Alexandra Eldridge to make a poetry deck of cards, and with singer-songwriters John Clinebell and Ariana Hall to put out a CD of original music based on his book of WWII poems, Tongue of War (album titled Tokyo Burning: World War II Songs, available on CD Baby, Spotify and Amazon.com). 

Barnstone was born in Middletown, Connecticut, raised in Indiana, and lived for years in Greece, Spain, Kenya, and China. He was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned an MA in English and Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature.

Download Complete Publication List

Poetry

Pulp Sonnets, by Tony Barnstone, illustrated by Amin Mansouri. (Tupelo Press, 2015).
Beast in the Apartment, by Tony Barnstone (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014).
Tongue of War by Tony Barnstone (BKMK Press, 2009).
The Golem of Los Angeles, by Tony Barnstone (Red Hen Press, 2008).
Sad Jazz: Sonnets by Tony Barnstone (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005).
Naked Magic: Poems by Tony Barnstone (Main Street Rag Press, 2002).
Impure: Poems by Tony Barnstone (University Press of Florida, 1999).

Translation

River Merchant’s Wife by Ming Di, translated from the Chinese by Tony Barnstone, Neil Aitken, Afaa Weaver, Katie Farris & Sylvia Burn with the author (Marick Press, 2013).

Erotic Chinese Poems. Co-edited Chou Ping. (Everyman Press, 2007).

The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry, edited by Tony and Chou Ping, (Anchor Books, 2005).

The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters. Co-edited with Chou Ping. (Shambhala, 1996).

Out of the Howling Storm. Edited by Tony Barnstone. (Wesleyan University Press, 1993).

Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei. Co-translated with Willis Barnstone and Xu Haixin.(University Press of New England, 1991).

Anthology

Human and Inhuman Monster Poems. Edited by Tony Barnstone and Michelle Mitchell-Foust. (Everyman Pocket Library, 2015).

Poems Dead and Undead. Edited by Tony Barnstone and Michelle Mitchell-Foust. (Everyman Pocket Library, 2014).

Textbooks

The Literature of Asia. Edited by Tony Barnstone (Prentice Hall Publishers, 2002).

The Literatures of the Middle East. Co-edited with Willis Barnstone (Prentice Hall Publishers, 2002).

Literatures of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Co-edited with Willis Barnstone. ( Prentice Hall Publishers, 1999).

Published in Foreign Translation

Buda en Llamas: Antología poética (1999-2012), selected poems translated into Spanish by Mariano Zaro, bilingual edition. (Mexico City: Ediciones El Tucán de Virginia, 2014).

The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1996. Translated, edited and with introductions by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping. Translated into Arabic by Dr. Abed Ismael. (Damascus, Syria: Al Mada Publishing Company F.K.A., 2003).

Select Honors, Grants & Awards

Poetry (International):

Strokestown International Poetry Prizes, Grand Prize Winner.  4000 Euros.

Hippocrates Prize, Commended Entry, 2013.

Poetry (National):

The Poets’ Prize, 2011.  $3000, for Tongue of War: The Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki

Silver Award of the Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2010 for Tongue of War: The Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, 2007-2008. $20,000.

Pushcart Prize, Winner, 2006 (nominated by Elinor Wilner and by Andrea Hollander Budy for “The 167th Psalm of Elvis”)

The John Ciardi Prize in Poetry, $1000, winner for Tongue of War: The Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki (book publication).

The Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry, 2006, $3000, winner for The Golem of Los Angeles (book publication).

Poetry (State):

California Arts Council Artists Fellowship in Literature, 2002. $5,000.

Research

National Endowment for the Arts Summer Stipend, 2015.  $6000, for The Holyghost Radio: Science and Technology in William Carlos Williams and Modernism.

Faculty Research Grants, Whittier College, 2013, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2001.

Teaching

Digital Scholars Grant, spring 2014 (revising Poetry Writing and Advanced Poetry writing to incorporate e-book technology/software)

Irvine Incentive Grant, 2006 (revising Asian-American and Asian Literature to incorporate active learning components).

Faculty Development Grants, Whittier College, 2001, 2007.

The James Irvine Foundation Grant, 1998-1999; to support course and resource development in Asian Literature, and to found an authors, translators and critics speaking series to supplement that course.

Select Community Outreach

El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera, CA, 2011, 2012 and 2013: taught 10 sessions of poetry writing to three classes (100 students), culminating in a final gala reading at Whittier College.  Student work published in an illustrated book for families.

Mt. Pleasant High School, San Jose, CA, 2011, I taught a special session on poetry writing (110 students), 2011.

Parks Middle School, Fullerton, CA, 1997 and 1998, taught special sessions on poetry writing to three classes of middle school students (100 students).

Select Masters Classes Taught

Centre College, Danville, KY, 2014; University of Evansville, IN, 2014
Chapman University, 2013 
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, 2013
Arizona State University, Phoenix, 2011
Marin Poetry Center, 2011
University of Missouri, Kansas City, 2011
San Jose State University, 2011
University of Warwick, Warwick, England, 2011
Stonecoast Low Residence MFA Program, Portland, Maine, 2011. 2012, and 2013
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel (web-taught class), 2010
San Miguel Poetry Week, Mexico, 2010 and 2008
Long Beach City College, CA 2009
Monmouth University, NJ, 2009
American University, DC, 2006
Athens Center for the Creative Arts at Spetses, Greece, 2005, 2006
University of Nevada, Reno, NV, 2004
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, 2000
Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM, 2005, 2000
Davidson College, NC, 2001

Select ­Poetry Readings (Past 7 Years)  

Centre College, Danville, KY 2014
University of Evansville, IN, 2014
Los Angeles Times Book Festival, Los Angeles, CA, 2014
San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, West Covina, CA, 2014
Diesel Books, with Willis Barnstone and Kazim Ali, 2013
Concordia College, with Genuine Brandish, poetry and music event, 2013
State Library of New South Wales, “Why Poetry Matters: A Discussion with Tony Barnstone and Robert Adamson,” moderated by Kate Middleton, Sydney, Australia, 2013
San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, West Covina, CA, 2013
Chapman University: Big Orange Book Festival, performing with Genuine Brandish (music and poetry), 2012
Georgia Poetry Circuit: A 9-university reading tour, 2011-12; Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA, Killer Verse publication reading, 2011
Mt. St. Antonio Community College, CA, “Night and the City: Noir in Poetry, Fiction, and Film Festival,” 2011
Chapman University, Orange, CA, 2011
Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, 2011
Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA, 2011
University of Missouri, Kansas City, 2011
San Jose State University, 2011
University of Chichester, Chichester, England, 2011
University of Plymouth, Plymouth, England, 2011
University of Warwick, Warwick, England, 2011
Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA 2011
University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME 2011
Library Girl Series, Ruskin Art Center, Los Angeles, CA 2010
University of La Verne, La Verne, CA 2010
Cal State LA, Los Angeles, CA 2010
West Hollywood Book Fair, Los Angeles, CA 2010
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA, 2010
PoetsWest, Green Lake Public Library, Seattle, 2010
Doe Bay Reading Series, Orcas Island, WA, 2010
Kings Books Reading Series, Tacoma, WA, 2010
Western Washington University, Bellingham, 2010
SPLAB Series, Seattle, 2010
Hammer Museum, with Maxine Hong Kingston, Sholeh Wolpe, 2010
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, with Willis Barnstone, 2010
Crockett, CA, the Valona Deli, 2010
Davidson College, N.C., 2010
Claremont Public Library, Claremont, CA, 2010
Occidental College, Eagle Rock, CA, 2010
Café Alibi, Pasadena, CA, 2010, 2012
Tebot Bach, Golden West College, CA, 2010
Rattle Contributors’ Reading, Santa Monica, CA, 2010
San Miguel Poetry Week, San Miguel, Mexico, 2010
Marian Sims Baughn Center for Literary Arts, Long Beach, CA, 2009
Bilingual Reading: Translating Sonnets, ALTA Conference, Pasadena, CA 2009
Dramatic Reading with Jennifer Holmes, Shannon Center, Whittier College, CA 2009
Moe’s Books, Berkeley, CA, 2009
Long Beach City College, CA 2009
Monmouth University, NJ, 2009
Bowery Poetry Club, NYC, 2009
Valley Contemporary Poets, Tarzana Cultural Center, 2009
Athens Center for the Creative Arts at Spetses, Greece, 2009
Pharmaka, Los Angeles, 2009, with Sholeh Wolpe, Charles Datscher and Majid Nafiz; Casa Romantica, 2009, with Kate Durbin
The Book Stall, Chicago, 2009, with Willis Barnstone, Sholeh Wolpe, Charles Harper Webb, Richard Silberg
Athens Center for the Creative Arts at Spetses, Greece, 2008
Beijing Normal University, China, 2008
Moonday Poetry Series, CA, 2008
Ruskin Poetry Series, CA, 2008
Strokestown Poetry Festival, Strokestown, Ireland, 2008
L.A. Times Festival of Books, CA, 2008
Cal State Northridge, CA, 2008
Mt. Saint Antonio Community College, CA, 2008
Ohio Wesleyan University, OH, 2008
Shaman Drum Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI, 2008
Series A: Gabe Gudding, Tony Barnstone, and Tony Trigilio, Chicago Public Radio
WBEZ, 91.5 FM, Tuesday, March 25, 2008 “ 7:00 p.m.; Brothers K Coffee Shop, Evanston, IL, with Tony Trigilio, 2008
Red Hen Press Reading, AWP Conference, NYC, 2008
San Miguel Poetry Week, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 2008, with Reginald Gibbons
Brothers K Coffee Shop, Evanston, IL, 2008
Red Hen Press Benefit Reading, Los Angeles, 2007, with Billy Collins and Robert Olen Butler
Moonday Reading Series, Pacific Palisades, CA 2007
Athens Center for the Creative Arts at Spetses, Greece, 2007
Poetry in Motion Reading, Union Station, Los Angeles, 2007
SUNY Farmingdale, Paumanauk Poetry Prize Winner Reading, 2007
Mt. Saint Antonio Community College, 2007
Poetry at the Loft, Redlands, CA, 2007
Newport Poets, Newport Beach, CA 2007

Select Recent Radio, Web, And Journal Interviews

Poet’s Café, KPFK Pacifica Radio for Southern California, 90.7 FM, interviewed with John Clinebell and Ariana Hall about our poetry/songwriting collaboration, 2013

Tiferet (2011).  Tony Barnstone interviewed by Melissa Studdard.  Podcast.  

Poetry East-West . 12.1 (2010) “Interview with Tony Barnstone” by Ming Di, translated into Chinese by Ming Di; New Letters on the Air, (2010).  Rebroadcast in Jan 2013

Poemeleon: “The Habitual Poet: Tony Barnstone.” Warwick Review. (2010). 

“A Rage for Wildness: An Interview with Tony Barnstone” by Wilda Morris

 Poetry Flash. “A Rage for Wildness: An Interview with Tony Barnstone” by Wilda Morris.  

 The Chiron Review, Fall 2008. Tony Barnstone interviewed by John Brantingham

 Prairie Margins, 2008. Tony Barnstone interviewed by Ryan Swenar

From the Fishouse: An Audio Archive of Emerging Poets.  “Tony Barnstone Q&A on the contemporary sonnet,” “Tony Barnstone Q&A on the form of Commandments,” “Tony Barnstone Q&A on the genesis of three poems,” “Tony Barnstone Q&A on a current project,” “Tony Barnstone Q&A on obstacles to becoming a poet” ; The Poetry Show, KUSP, Santa Cruz, interviewed by Dennis Morton, 2006; Poet’s Café, KPFK Pacifica Radio for Southern California, 90.7 FM, two interviews, two broadcasts, 2007.

Select Recent Lectures/Colloquia (Past 7 years)

Panel Discussion on Translating Poetry, and Roundtable Discussion on Translation, Pedagogy and Creative Writing.  ACS Mini-Conference on Poetry Translation, Centre College, Danville, KY; “Panel on Poetry and Music,” Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, 2013 (with Annie Finch, Sholeh Wolpe, and Alexs Pates)

 “Structuring the Book of Poems,” Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, 2013

 “Fixed Forms and Nonce Forms,” chairing and presenting session at the Associated Writing Programs Conference, Boston, MA, 2013

 “Jewish Mysticism in Contemporary Poetry,” “How the Poet Became a Golem,” at the Associated Writing Programs Conference, Boston, MA, 2013

 “Superheroes, Horror, Adventure, Sci Fi, and Fantasy in Poetry,” Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, 2012

 “On Translating the Mystical-Erotic Poetry of Ghalib,” Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, 2012

 “The Tarot of Creativity: Poetry, Fiction, Pop Fiction, Creative Nonfiction,” Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, 2012

 “The Three Paradoxes of Literary Translation: Using Translation Techniques in Creative Writing,” Chapman University, 2011

 “Closing Keynote Address,” Whittier College Shannon Center Bookfaire, Whittier, CA 2011, with Michael Jaime-Becerra and Salvador Plascencia

 “The Three Paradoxes of Literary Translation: Using Translation Techniques in Creative Writing,” University of Chichester, Chichester, England, 2011

 “The Three Paradoxes of Literary Translation: Using Translation Techniques in Creative Writing,” University of Plymouth, Plymouth, England, 2011

 “The Three Paradoxes of Literary Translation: Using Translation Techniques in Creative Writing,” University of Warwick, Warwick, England, 2011

 “The Three Paradoxes of Literary Translation: Using Translation Techniques in Creative Writing,” Stonecoast MFA Program, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, 2011

 “In the Clefts of the Rock: Translating Erotic-Religious Poetry” (with Sholeh Wolpe, Willis Barnstone, Helene Cardona, and Betty De Shong Meador), Associated Writing Programs Conference, Washington, DC, 2011

 “Transpoetics: American poets Willis and Tony Barnstone in Conversation,” Cal State LA, 2010

 “Aroused, Parched and Fevered: The Translation of Sex” (with Sholeh Wolpe and Willis Barnstone) Associated Writing Programs Conference, Denver, CO, 2010

 “Aroused, Parched and Fevered: The Translation of Sex” (with Sholeh Wolpe and Willis Barnstone) American Literary Translators Association Conference, Pasadena, Nov. 2009

“Roundtable: Teaching Polyglot Courses to Students in Literary Translation” (with Reinhard Meyer, John Biguenet, Martha Collins, Alison Dundy, Marilyn Gaddis Rose, Elizabeth Lowe), American Literary Translators Association Conference, Pasadena, Nov. 2009

 “Poetry and Comix,” Panel Chair, Associated Writing Programs Conference, Chicago, IL, February, 2009

 “The Three Paradoxes of Literary Translation: On Translating Chinese Poetry for Form,” Beijing Normal University, International Symposium on “Translating China into the West,” UT Dallas, April 6, 2009

 “The Three Paradoxes of Literary Translation: On Translating Chinese Poetry for Form,” Beijing Normal University, Conference on Chinese Literature and World Literature, October, 2008

 “What I Learned from World Literature,” Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL, March, 2008

 “Lateral Thinking and the Nature of Creativity in Poetry and Fiction,” Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, February, 2008

 “The Book Length Sonnet Sequence: A Roundtable” (with Marilyn Nelson, William Baer, Willis Barnstone, Marilyn Hacker), Associated Writing Programs Conference, Atlanta, GA, March, 2007

 “Poets Translating Poets” (with Sholeh Wolpe, Ralph Angel, Willis Barnstone),  Associated Writing Programs Conference, Atlanta, GA, March, 2007

 “Some Stories about Storytelling,” Whittier Literacy Council, February, 2007

Select Multimedia

Tokyo’s Burning: WWII Songs.  Stormbarn Music, 2012.  Music by Genuine Brandish.  Lyrics by Tony Barnstone, John Clinebell and Ariana Hall.  Executive Producer, Tony Barnstone.  A CD of original music based on my poetry. 

Jack Logan, Fighting Airman: The Case of the Red Bordello.  Radio play.  Actors: Tony Barnstone, Jennifer Holmes.  With music by Kevin MacLeod and artwork by Tony Barnstone.  A 28-sonnet film noir crime novella, acted out and accompanied by dark jazz.  Posted on the Rattle website on Feb. 1, 2011.

RealNewMusic Festival, Whittier College, 2011, performances of my poem “Plans for the Future” as put to music by Evan Eliason, composer, Melody Versoza, soprano, and Evan Eliason bass; and as put to music by Shane Cadman, composer, Melody Versoza, soprano, and Scott McIntosh, clarinet

Wolf Creek: The Graphic Novel.  Adaptation of werewolf sonnet sequence into a graphic novel, in collaboration with artist Dorothy Tunnell.  The first 30 pages appeared in September, 2011 in the British literary journal, Short Fiction. 

The Tarot of Creativity: The Major Arcana.  Collaboration with artist Alexandra Eldridge to create a deck of tarot cards, each of which consists of original artwork and a double sonnet, in addition to a manual on how to use the deck to generate creative writing (fiction and poetry).

The Narrative Forest.  The Narrative Forest is a series of 24 stainless steel plates laser-etched with poetry and mounted on cedar stands, designed and built by the sculptor and architect Robert Barnstone, and including 8 poems each by me, by Aliki Barnstone and by Willis Barnstone.  This award-winning project was on display for a year at the Convergences for the Arts festival in Providence, R.I., and is currently on display at Whittier College.

“Questioning in the Mountains,” poem by Li Bai translated by Tony Barnstone, Willis Barnstone and Chou Ping.  Published in “Poems for the Waiting Room,” poem-posters for display in public areas such as healthcare waiting rooms and reception areas, libraries and class rooms (UK)

“White Moonrise: Three Chinese Poems for Chorus and Piano,” music by H. Gunter, adaptations of three Chinese poems translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping.

Born Magazine: Collaboration with web designer Jonathan Minori and artist Fabrizio Aiello to create animated version of the poem “Hospital Tent

The Berkeley Poetry Review 25 (1991‑92).  "The Murderer's Prints," a short story consisting of eight monoprints blending text and image, using cut‑up techniques and film noir iconography to create a hard‑boiled detective story modeled on the work of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.