Coleman Barks

(1937 / Chattanooga, Tennessee)

Biography of Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks poet

Coleman Barks (born April 23, 1937) is an American poet, and former literature faculty at the University of Georgia. Although he neither speaks nor reads Persian, he is nonetheless renowned as an interpreter of Rumi and other mystic poets of Persia.
Barks is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended the Baylor School as a teenager, then studied collegiately at the University of North Carolina and the University of California, Berkeley.
Barks taught literature at the University of Georgia for three decades.
Barks makes frequent international appearances and is well known throughout the Middle East. Barks' work has contributed to an extremely strong following of Rumi in the English-speaking world. Due to his work, the ideas of Sufism have crossed many cultural boundaries over the past few decades. Coleman Barks received an honorary doctorate from Tehran University in 2006.
He has also read his original poetry at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. In March 2009 Barks was inducted to the Georgia Writers' Hall of Fame.

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Glad

In the glory of the gloaming-green soccer
field her team, the Gladiators, is losing

ten to zip. She never loses interest in
the roughhouse one-on-one that comes

every half a minute. She sticks her leg
in danger and comes out the other side running.

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