Jan Barry was born Jan Barry Crumb in Ithaca, New York on 26 January 1943. After graduating from Interlaken Central School he attended the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University, but dropped out to join the Army in May 1962. He served in Vietnam from December 1962 to October 1963. On his return to the US he attended the US Military Academy Prep School and the US Military Academy at West Point, but resigned in May 1965. As he has said:
Vietnam turned me into a poet and peace activist.
He was a co-founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, co-edited and published Winning Hearts and Mines: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans (1st Casualty Press, 1972) and embarked on a career in journalism.
Jan Barry “is perhaps the single most important figure in the emergence of Vietnam veterans’ poetry, not only for his own pioneering poems but especially for his tireless efforts to encourage and promote the work of others.” –W.D. Ehrhart, Unaccustomed Mercy: Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War
Jan Barry’s Poems
Resources for Jan Barry
Jan Barry’s Website http://www.janbarry.net/
Jan Barry on the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon in 2005 http://www.janbarry.net/newsletter304757.htm
Jan Barry taking part in a reading and discussion at Hendrix College in 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lmr0KQqzZk
Jan Barry’s Archive at La Salle University