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Keith Barnes (1934-1969)
Brief Biography

Born in 1934, in Dagenham, near London, England

Studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, having won an Open Scholarship in Composition, first as a Junior, from the age of 13 to the age of 17, and then as a Full-Time student.

Began writing music at the age of 12 and had several works performed by leading groups, particularly Chamber Music groups, in London.

Stopped writing music in 1959 and began writing poetry in 1960

Until 1962

worked in music publishing and as a film editor for BBC Television.


travelled and lived in France and in the United States.


in the United States, where he published Born to Flying Glass, Harcourt, Brace and World, New York, 1967.


in France, where he wrote many of the poems included in The Thick Skin and in Ain't Hung Yet.

Died of leukemia in Paris in 1969

Keith Barnes' poems have been published in various magazines:

The Times Literary Supplement, Jack O' London, The Observer, Time and Tide, Tribune, Ambit, New Republic, Mademoiselle...

and have been translated into French in :

Les Lettres Nouvelles, in K.B., Éditions Maurice Nadeau, La Quinzaine littéraire, Recueil, La Lettre Internationale, Action Poétique, Sud , Grèges, Arsenal, Poésie/ première, Encres Vagabondes, Poésie 13, L'Ouvre Boîte, la Braise et l'Etincelle, Poésie sur Seine, Ecrit(s) du Nord, Le Nouveau recueil, Poésie 2002 Le Journal des Poètes (Bruxelles, 2003), Jointure (2003/04) ....


Publication of Keith Barnes Œuvre poétique/Collected Poems, French translation by Jacqueline Starer, Opening by Maurice Nadeau, éditions d’écarts, Paris.


K.B. Keith Barnes, by Jacqueline Starer, is published in a bilingual edition, English translation by Helen McPhail, at the éditions d’écarts, Dol-de-Bretagne, France.


Publication of The Waters Will Sways / Die Wasser Werden Schaukeln, Selected Poems / Ausgewählte Gedichte, Translation from the English by / von Ulrich Zieger, éditions d’écarts, F - 35120 Dol-de-Bretagne

His poems have been read and/or broadcast by:

In the Sixties

The BBC Third Program, WBAI in New York, KPFA in San Francisco and KPFK in Los Angeles

In 2001, 2002 and 2003

in Paris at La Maroquinerie, Le Club des Poètes, the Cercle Aliénor, with the Rencontres européennes, under the aegis of the Société des Poètes Français, at the Senate, at the Café de la Mairie, Place saint-Sulpice, at the Médiathèque Florian in Rambouillet, at the MLC of Montmorency.

In 2002 and 2003

broadcast on IDFM Radio Enghien Ile-de-France

In 2003

poem performed in London by ShadoWork

In 2003 and 2004

broadcast on France Culture / Poésie sur Parole

In 2004

have been read at the MLC of Montmorency, in Paris at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, at Festival franco-anglais de Poésie, at the Gobelune and at the Galerie MBH, had a poem published in La Quinzaine littéraire.

In 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010

have been read at the Club des Poètes, at the Déjeuner des Poètes organized by Le Journal des Poètes in Paris, at the MLC of Montmorency, has been performed by La Compagnie du Tapis Volant in La Ferté-Alais, Essonne, read in Normandy in Pont-L’Évêque, at Les Puces Gourmandes, at Touch’ d’Auge, at the Médiathèque of Lisieux and at the Biennales Internationales de Poésie in Liège (Belgium).


Publication online : Keith Barnes, Poèmes.