His poetry celebrates the natural world – its otherness from ourselves – whilst also tackling the increasingly destructive impact of humans on that world. A secondary theme running throughout the book is the manner in which small-town life, while undoubtedly secure, is also deeply confining. This ecological and sceptical outlook is aligned with a deep affinity with, and boundless curiosity about, nature and our precarious place in it.
This Selected Poems is notable for both its breadth of form and its depth of thought. Those familiar with Barnie’s work will enjoy having a selection from his varied output.Those unfamiliar will be pleasantly surprised at the range and quality of his poetry.
John Barnie was born and raised in Abergavenny, and was a student in Birmingham in the 1960s. He has published work in a wide variety of journals and anthologies and has won a Welsh Arts Council Prize for Literature. He now lives in Aberystwyth and until recently was Editor of the influential magazine of diverse international writing, Planet.