Barbara Jane Reyes was born in 1971 in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California Berkeley and her MFA in creative writing (poetry) at San Francisco State University.
Reyes's books include Wanna peek Into My Notebook?: Notes on Pinay Liminality (Paloma Press, 2022); Letters to a Young Brown Girl (BOA Editions, 2020); Invocation to Daughters (City Lights Books, 2017), a finalist for the California Book Award; and Diwata (BOA Editions, 2010). Her first book, Gravities of Center, was published by Arkipelago Books in 2003, and her second book, Poeta en San francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005) received the 2005 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.
She has taught at Mills College and the University of San Francisco. She is an adjunct professor in the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at University of San Francisco. She lives in Oakland, California.