Barbara Ras was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and has lived in Costa Rica, Colombia, California, and Texas. She is the author of The Last Skin (2010), winner of the best poetry award from the Texas Institute of Letters; One Hidden Stuff (2006); and Bite Every Sorrow (1998), which was selected by C.K. Williams for the Walt Whitman Award. Of Bite Every Sorrow, C.K. Williams wrote, “the book is a demonstration of what might be called a morality of inclusiveness, a Whitmanesque commitment to the wisdom of the individual case rather than the general type. And along with so much rich soul-work, there is a remarkable poetic skill. Ras structures poems with a zaniness and an unpredictable cunning, and her verbal expertise and lucidity are as bright and surprising as her knowledge of the world is profound.”
Ras is the recipient of numerous awards including the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Guggenheim fellowship. She has taught at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Currently she directs the Trinity University Press in San Antonio, Texas.