Barker’s first collection, The Animal Gospels (2006), won the Tupelo Press Editor’s Prize. The Black Ocean (2011),his second collection,won the Crab Orchard Open Competition in 2011. Barker is the recipient of various awards and honors, including two Pushcart nominations, an Academy of American Poets prize, and the 2009 Campbell Corner Poetry Prize.
Barker teaches at the University of Colorado, Denver, where he co-edits Copper Nickel, a journal of art and literature. He is married to poet Nicky Beer.