Shirley Campbell Barr studied drama, literature and creative writing in her native Costa Rica. She is an anthropologist from the University of Costa Rica and took postgraduate courses in African Feminism at the University of Zimbabwe. She holds a Master’s degree in International Cooperation for development. She has lived and worked in Zimbabwe, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Brazil, United States and Panamá and and traveled extensively in Latin America and several African countries. She has worked in cultural and social programs including as a teacher, directing creative writing workshops (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras).
Campbell Barr has published six collections of poetry and has dozens of poems and articles published in magazines, anthologies and journals in different countries. Her work has been translated into English, French and Portuguese. An activist of the Afro-descendant movement in Latin America, she regularly participates in conferences, workshops, lectures and poetry readings sharing her work, as well as contributing to the process of awareness within Afro-descendant communities.
Her work has been largely disseminated through women’s organizations and Afro-descendants in Latin América and has been featured in several popular representations, such as: popular radio shows, theater works, children’s performances, photographic exhibitions in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia and Spain, among others. Her poems have also been incorporated into didactical material and university libraries in different countries of the region.
Her acclaimed poem ¨Rotundamente Negra¨ has become an emblem for many Afro-descendent organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. As such it has received several distinctions across the region. In fact, two the poem is the title of two of her books.
Campbell has assisted as a visiting professor at different Universities in the United States, Jamaica, El Salvador, Brazil, and Colombia. Campbell has also worked for years as an independent consultant for a number of UN agencies and in a number of NGOs. In areas of Gender, Reproductive Health and Human Rights, ghostwriting as well as giving periodic recitals and lecturing on topics related to black women and Afro-descendants in general.