Tony Barnstone was born in Middleton Connecticut, son of acclaimed poet Willis Barnstone and visual artist Elli Barnstone. He grew up in Indiana, Vermont and Spain. He has resided in Spain, Greece, Kenya and China for years, prior to doing a Masters in English and Creative Writing as well as a PhD in Literature at the University of California at Berkley. Barnstone is also a notable translator of Chinese poetry and prose (Poets & Writers). As a translator, editor, poet and writer of fiction, Barnstone has been influenced by distinct figures such as James Wright, Federico Garcia Lorca, and T.S. Eliot. “His poems merge crisp, precise imagery with humour, a longer cadence and an essayistic or narrative arc”. Barnstone commented in an interview, “I think that the work of poetry can be important and that each poet needs to find his or her own way to make it so” (Poetry Foundation). He is currently teaching at Whittier College in Southern California, with a focus on Creative Writing, Literary Translation, Modern American Poetry, Twentieth Century American Literature and Asian American Literature (Whittier College).
Barnstone’s “Audit” is an astounding poem about how individuals covet love and acceptance from others, or from society. It is included in the collection, “Sad Jazz: Sonnets” released in 2005. This poem was written as an “intralingual translation or transformation” of Shakespeare’s sonnet. In recreating this sonnet, Barnstone pays tribute to the original sonnet,