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Born in New Orleans and raised in Hawai'i, Barbara Hamby's family didn't own many books, but there was an inherent appreciation of language in the household growing up, evident in her mother's Biblical quips and witty sparring matches between siblings. She bought a dictionary in 4th grade and has "never stopped collecting words." She teaches creative writing in the English Department at Florida State University and travels extensively with her husband, poet David Kirby. Her poetry collections include Delirium (2004), Babel (2003), and All-Night Lingo Tango (2009).
Hamby said, "I think all writers live on a continuum between hope and doubt. Sometimes I jump between the two like a meth addict, and at other times it's a boat ride on a sunny afternoon on the river."