John Barr was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up in a rural township outside of Chicago. Graduating from Harvard College on a Navy scholarship, he served five years on ships including three tours to Vietnam. Over a thirty-year career as an investment banker, he was Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and founded three startups. He has taught in the Graduate Writing Program at Sarah Lawrence College and served on the boards of Yaddo, Bennington College, and the Poetry Society of America, the latter two as board chair. In 2004, he was appointed the inaugural president of the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, and served in that capacity for a decade. Dante in China is his ninth collection of poems. He lives in Connecticut.