John Barton was born in Edmonton, Canada. He attended the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Quebec, and Victoria, and Columbia University in New York. He has published eleven poetry collections, including Polari (Ice House Poetry, 2014) and For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems (Nightwood, 2012), and co-edited Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets (Arsenal Pulp, 2007). He is the recipient of three Archibald Lampman Awards, the Patricia Hackett Prize, an Ottawa Book Award, a National Magazine Award, and a CBC Literary Award. He served as the editor of The Malahat Review for fourteen years and now works as a freelance editor and writer. He was elected the City of Victoria's fifth Poet Laureate in 2019.