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Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks changed his life's direction when, in 1976, Robert Bly showed him some scholarly translations of the ecstatic poems of Jelaluddin Rumi, a thirteenth-century Sufi mystic, and told him, "These poems need to be released from their cages."

Captivated by Rumi's humor, wisdom, and spiritual depth, and the apparently effortless qualities of a poet as famous in the Islamic world as Shakespeare is in the West, Barks took up the challenge.
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Coleman Barks changed his life's direction when, in 1976, Robert Bly showed him some scholarly translations of the ecstatic poems of Jelaluddin Rumi, a thirteenth-century Sufi mystic, and told him, "These poems need to be released from their cages."

Captivated by Rumi's humor, wisdom, and spiritual depth, and the apparently effortless qualities of a poet as famous in the Islamic world as Shakespeare is in the West, Barks took up the challenge.

Coleman Barks was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was educated at the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught poetry and creative writing at the University of Georgia for thirty years.

He is the author of numerous Rumi translations and has been a student of Sufism since 1977. His work with Rumi was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers's Language of Life series on PBS, and he is a featured poet and translator in Bill Moyers's poetry special, "Fooling with Words." Coleman Barks is the father of two grown children and the grandfather of four. He lives in Athens, Georgia.

On The Web 
Official Website
On Wikipedia
Rumi Love Poems


In Print

The Essential Rumi
Rumi: The Book of Love


Video:
Coleman Barks and Robert Bly read the poetry of Rumi:


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