Emma Barnes was born in Christchurch in 1980. She experienced her childhood and adolescence mostly from inside her head. She studied English at the University of Canterbury without so much as getting drunk once, although somewhere in there she managed to come out. It was only when she moved to Japan on a whim after finishing her degree that she was rudely forced to interact with the world and people more immediately. Since then she has been running to catch up and revising almost everything about herself constantly. Now she finds herself living in Wellington happily with two cats, a partner and a growing collection of Crown Lynn pottery. She has spent the last year starting her own literary magazine and is finding it at once exhilarating and exhausting.
Barnes comments: ‘ “Letter to a John” is a song by American singer-songwriter, Ani Difranco. The majority of the phrases in this poem have been said to me at one time or another in my life. The rest of them aren’t too far from the truth.’