Barbara Barg

Barbara Barg was raised in a small town in Eastern Arkansas and, after many wanderings and experiencing Ted Berrigan’s poetry classes in Chicago, moved to New York City where she became a several-times-recognized-in-a-coffee-shop poet/musician on the downtown scene.

She grew up listening to Delta Blues and Memphis R&B. In New York, she taught poetry to at-risk youth in tough NYC high schools where her students introduced her to hip-hop and rap. While hosting the PBS/Pacifica radio magazine, Poetry International, (produced by the Committee for International Poetry), her ears were filled with the poetic music of languages from all over the world. She came to appreciate poetry not just as an intellectual experience, but as a visceral experience, sensually vibrant in the mind, mouth, ear, and spine.

She is the author of two books: Obeying the Chemicals (Hard Press) and The Origin of the Species (Semiotext(e)). Her poetry, short stories, and strong opinions have been published in many magazines and anthologized in The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book (Southern Illinois University Press, edited by Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews), Poems for the Nation: A Collection of Contemporary Political Poems (Seven Stories Press, edited by Allen Ginsberg with Andy Clausen and Eliot Katz), AM LIT: Neue Literatur Aus Den USA (Edition Druckhaus/Germany, edited by Gerard Falkner and Sylvere Lotringer), American Poets Say Goodbye to the 20th Century (edited by Andrei Codrescu and Laura Rosenthal.)

Barg is also a singer/songwriter/drummer and played in several bands including the infamous noise band of the 1980s, Avant Squares, and the 1990s NYC poetry band Homer Erotic (Homerica the Beautiful CD produced by jazz drummer Bobby Previte). Her solo sound work and sound work with FemNoir can be heard on composer/guitarist Elliott Sharp’s compilation CDs Beneath the Valley of the Yahoos and State of the Union, and Sugar, Alcohol, & Meat (produced by John Giorno Poetry Systems). Pauline Oliveros taught her how to open her ears.