Bartholomew Barker: Poet Interview | Top 25 Poet | April PAD Challenge - Writer's Digest

Bartholomew Barker: Poet Interview

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As many of you know, the 2014 April PAD Challenge is just around the corner. Over the past few months, I've been sharing poet interviews with some of the Top 25 poets from the 2013 April PAD Challenge, but I wanted to save a few to do a kind of April PAD Challenge countdown--that's starting today!

There is a Wednesday Poetry Prompt day mixed in, but there are 10 poet interviews (including this one) between here and the 2014 April PAD Challenge. Let the excitement build--and the entertaining interviews and poems fill the spaces between.

Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry readers in the Triangle-area of North Carolina. He was born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, worked in Connecticut for nearly 20 years before moving to Hillsborough, North Carolina where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit. Learn more at

Here's his Top 25 poem:

I am an early bird and I am late, by Bartholomew Barker

I am not driving an ambulance nor a fire engine. If I am late no
one will die, no buildings collapse, no skies fall. Yet I weave
through lanes as a snake. I curse my fellow men as obstacles. I
panic as though drowning with no time to breathe.

Only the far reaches of the parking lot have space. Elevators
mock my arrival from the highest floor. With apologies readied, I
burst into the conference room.



Where are you located?

I am located solidly in middle age.

Who are some of your favorite poets?

My favorite poets are Jack Kerouac for his haiku, William Blake for his scope and Robert Burns for his sound.

As a reader, what do you prefer in your poems?

As a reader, I prefer short poems that "pop" at the end.

What was your goal for the 2013 April PAD Challenge?

My only goal for 2013 challenge was survival. I was extremely busy with my day job and things were just not going well. Most of the poems came out rather dark.

What's next for you?

I just published my first poety book, Wednesday Night Regular, a collection of poems written about dancers in a strip club so I'm working on promoting that and I'm looking for my next theme.


Get your poetry published!

Learn how with the 2014 Poet's Market, which is filled with articles on the craft and business of poetry, listings for poetry publishing opportunities, contests, conferences, organizations, and more!

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer's Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World's Problems from Press 53. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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