John Barton first heard of The Malahat Review while studying poetry with the magazine’s co-founder, Robin Skelton, in the late 1970s. In the years since, he has published eleven books of poems, including Hymn (Brick, 2009), For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems (Nightwood, 2012), and Polari (Goose Lane, 2014). He will publish his seventh chapbook, Reframing Paul Cadmus, with above/ground press in 2016. His work has won three Archibald Lampman Awards, a Patricia Hackett Prize, a CBC Literary Award, and a National Magazine Award. His personal reading has taken him from Margaret Atwood to Erín Moure to Daryl Hine to Alice Oswald and back again, with tangents leading him to fiction by Oscar Wilde, Pat Barker, Alan Hollinghurst, Elizabeth Hay, David Leavitt, Michael Ondaatje, Truman Capote, Neil Bartlett, Edmund White, Michael Cunningham, Mavis Gallant, and Colm Tóibín. He’s also very partial to Annie Dillard. Co-editor of Ottawa-based Arc Poetry Magazine for thirteen years and editor-in-chief of Vernissage: The Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada for two years, he became editor of The Malahat Review in 2004.
Photo credit: Leanne Allen.