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Professor of English Language and Literature
Department of English Language and Literature
562.907.4200 ext. 4335
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
M.A., PhD. University of California, Berkeley
Download Professor Barnstone's complete publication list
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.