Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Wesleyan University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry and later a Jones Lecturer in Poetry.
Barot’s first collection of poetry, The Darker Fall (2002), received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. His second collection, Want (2008), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize. His poems and essays have appeared in the New Republic, Poetry, the Kenyon Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review,and others.
The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Barot has taught at numerous universities including Stanford, California College of the Arts, George Washington University, and Lynchburg College. He currently resides in Tacoma, Washington, and teaches at Pacific Lutheran University and Warren Wilson College.
And what part of his reflection will tell me who I am,
that I am standing a little away, wanting in on his story?
It turns out there's a difference between a detail
and an image. If the dandelion on the sidewalk is
mere detail, the dandelion inked on a friend's bicep
is an image because it moves when her body does,
The boulder that is bigger than a house,
perched on the edge of another boulder, painted gold
and prayed to by monks in saffron robes.
I think about the mornings it saved me
to look at the hearts penknifed on the windows
of the bus, or at the initials scratched