Virginia Barrett is the author 0f six books of poetry including Crossing Haight and I Just Wear My Wings; her sixth collection, Between Looking, is forthcoming in May, 2019 from Finishing Line Press. She is the editor of two anthologies of contemporary San Francisco poets OCCUPY SF—poems from the movement and Feather Floating on the Water—poems for our children (winner of an Acker Award). She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco, an MAT in Art from Rhode Island School of Design, and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.
Her work has recently appeared in Writer’s Chronicle, Narrative, What Rough Beast, Roar: Literature and Revolution by Feminist People, Ekphrastic Review, Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press), and Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice (University of Arizona Press). She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She received a 2017 writer’s residency grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, NM. A chapbook, Stars By Any Other Name, was a semi-finalist for the Frost Place Chapbook Competition sponsored by Bull City Press, 2017.
Virginia Barrett's poetry invites an excursion into a varied landscape of voice and form. Stylistically, poems range from intimate lyrics to expansive narratives. The work can be playful, meditative, visionary, challenging, and open to experimentation. Her thematic span uses a wide lens. Poems include female-centric pieces on childhood and family history, ekphrastic works exploring issues that artists often face in unsupportive (even hostile) societies, urban-inspired musings, adventures into myth, and mystical encounters in the natural world. What weaves throughout her work is a deep need to look out at the world, to gaze as does a painter, to absorb what the eyes see and to offer it back—altered and transfigured in some way.
“Each of [her] poems is flooded with light, color and sensory detail; they are the activity of an eye intent on seeing more of everything in the range of vision . . .”