We are suns burning the wax off the world



Be as enigmatic as possible to offset the preponderance of the real


Barrett Warner is the author of Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? (Somondoco Press, 2016) and My Friend Ken Harvey (Publishing Genius, 2014. He has won the Salamander fiction prize; the Princemere, Liam RectorLuminaire (Alternating Current), and Cloudbank poetry prizes; and the Tucson Book Festival essay prize. He has also been awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for his personal essays on farming and the rhythms of farm life. In May, 2019 he received the nonfiction fellowship at the Longleaf Writers’ Conference. Recent efforts appear in Beloit Poetry Journal, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Sou’wester, and Pirene’s Fountain.


How much gasoline can I pour on the smoking log–



–before it flames the word beautiful on my arm?


Warner is also a lifelong horseman who specializes in breeding, mare care, and foaling; early morning and late-night work that requires hustle, an earnest, deft touch, and a hard boot. In 2004, a horse kicked his right hand off his wrist. Shortly after having it re-attached at Union Memorial, Warner headed straight for the race track to bet his mutilator, then took his picture with her when she won.

Warner’s agricultural ministry has also included calf tagging, hog finishing, and grain and fruit cultivation. He believes in brewing his own beer, canning his own persimmon chutney, and keeping the swimming creek clean enough to drink. He currently lives in South Carolina, in a small town called Two Hours Away from EVERYTHING, where he tacks up a precocious literary magazine, edits manuscripts with a paintbrush, and engages in various gentlemanly pursuits.

You die inside a room, your soul goes out the window.



Get hit by a train, it goes to New Orleans.


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In the past two years I’ve given readings and craft talks in San Francisco, Baltimore, Pete’s Candy in Brooklyn, a church in Chicago, a Quaker-shaped hall in the Florida Panhandle, and many ‘elsewheres,’ but I still have a lot of map to fill. Please say a few words here if you’d like to include me in a show or a craft lecture. You bring the mic and I’ll bring the smile.



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My epitaph: Forgot to Attach