Barbara Leeds >


Barbara Leeds grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her childhood playing piccolo in a marching band.

After earning a B.A. and teaching credential from UCLA, she taught first grade in Watts. She survived a whole year.

She then moved to the Bay Area. “I wanna be a writer,” she said. Her first major effort was Fat: A Heavy Opera. Since then, her typewriter has not had a moment’s rest. Barbara has published dozens of items in various publications; her work has won a smattering of awards.

In 1981, employed as a programmer, she established an underground department newsletter, blaming it on her imaginary office-mate, Shirley U. Jest.

In 1986 she collaborated with cartoonist Craig Hamilton on Give an Artichoke a Break, a slim volume of vegetable verse.

In 1990 she published Fairy Tale Rap: “Jack and the Beanstalk” and Other Stories. She followed it two years later with Fairy Tale Rap No. 2: “The Fisherman and His Wife” and Other Stories. Both books feature illustrations by Craig Hamilton.

As an author, Barbara is invited to speak at schools. In 1995 she started volunteering part-time in the classroom, teaching writing to East Palo Alto fifth-graders.

In 1997 she established a newsletter for her Toastmasters club.

In 1998 she was commissioned by the City of Sunnyvale to write a rap for a library event.

Also in 1998, she built her first website, which she maintained for eight years. When she could not find some needed technical information in a convenient format, she created relevant reference documents. These documents were then posted on the website of the Silicon Valley WebGuild.

In recent years Barbara has concentrated on music composition. Her song “We Are a Choir” is used in voice classes. Several of her works have been performed by community chorus, for actual paying audiences.

Barbara reports that she is most creative when she is asleep.

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