John Barr Bio

John Barr was born in Omaha in 1943 and grew up in an unincorporated township outside of Chicago. He went to Harvard College on a Navy scholarship and graduated with honors in 1965. For the next five years he served as a Naval officer on destroyers and went to Vietnam three times. He graduated from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar in 1972. In a Wall Street career that spanned 30 years he was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, founded three start-ups including the country's first natural gas marketing company, and was active in restructuring the electric and gas utility industries.

Over the past 30 years his poems have been published in six books, three fine press editions, and many magazines. His recent books include The Hundred Fathom Curve: New & Collected Poems and The Adventures of Ibn Opcit, a two-volume mock epic (Red Hen Press, 2011 and 2013). Dante in China, a collection of new poems, was published in 2018 (Red Hen Press). He served for many years on the boards of arts organizations and of Bennington College. In 2013 he retired after ten years as inaugural President of the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. The Foundation publishes Poetry magazine and is the recipient of a major financial gift from Ruth Lilly.

He and his wife Penny were classmates at Lisle High School. Their two sons and their daughter live in Los Angeles and Greenwich, CT.

John Barr Bio

John Barr was born in Omaha in 1943 and grew up in an unincorporated township outside of Chicago. He went to Harvard College on a Navy scholarship and graduated with honors in 1965. For the next five years he served as a Naval officer on destroyers and went to Vietnam three times. He graduated from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar in 1972. In a Wall Street career that spanned 30 years he was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, founded three start-ups including the country's first natural gas marketing company, and was active in restructuring the electric and gas utility industries.

Over the past 30 years his poems have been published in six books, three fine press editions, and many magazines. His recent books include The Hundred Fathom Curve: New & Collected Poems and The Adventures of Ibn Opcit, a two-volume mock epic (Red Hen Press, 2011 and 2013). Dante in China, a collection of new poems, was published in 2018 (Red Hen Press). He served for many years on the boards of arts organizations and of Bennington College. In 2013 he retired after ten years as inaugural President of the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. The Foundation publishes Poetry magazine and is the recipient of a major financial gift from Ruth Lilly.

He and his wife Penny were classmates at Lisle High School. Their two sons and their daughter live in Los Angeles and Greenwich, CT.

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