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Sam Barry (author)

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Sam Barry
Born (1957-01-26) January 26, 1957 (age 67)
Kathi Kamen Goldmark
(m. 2009; died 2012)

Samuel Barry (born January 26, 1957) is an American author, columnist, publishing professional, and musician.


Most recently, Sam Barry collaborated with Ellen Harper, coauthoring her memoir: Always a Song: Singers, Songwriters, Sinners & Saints: My Story of the Folk Music Revival, with a foreword by Harper's son Ben Harper.[1][2] He is the editor of and contributor to the interactive e-book Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band Ever (of Authors) Tells All.[3][4] He is also the author of the humor-inspiration book How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons[5][6] and co-authored the book Write That Book Already! The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now with his late wife Kathi Kamen Goldmark.[7][8] Barry and Goldmark wrote Author Enablers, a national column and blog for BookPage.[7] Goldmark died of breast cancer on May 24, 2012.[9] In 2014, Barry oversaw the posthumous publication of Goldmark's novel Her Wild Oats (Untreed Reads Publications).[10][11]

Barry is the Author Services Liaison at Book Passage, where he heads the Path to Publishing Program. He is a contributing editor at the literary magazine Zyzzyva, and serves on the board of San Francisco’s literary festival, Litquake. For many years he wrote the Author Enabler column for the national book review publication BookPage, offering information and encouragement to aspiring authors. He has previously worked for the San Francisco-based imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, HarperOne.[12][13]

Barry is also a musician who is best known for his harmonica and piano playing. He has performed and toured with the Rock Bottom Remainders, together with his late wife and co-founder of the group Kathi Kamen Goldmark.[14][15] During the 2020 pandemic Sam joined his Rock Bottom Remainders bandmates and recorded the song "(Don't) Stand By Me" to raise money for bookstore employees.[16] He has frequently appeared on the national radio show West Coast Live, and has been a guest on the Leonard Lopate Show, the Brian Copeland Show, the Peter B. Collins Show,[17] Liz St. John's Peep Show,[18] and Alan Farley's Book Talk.[19]


Early life and education[edit]

Barry was born in Armonk, New York as the fourth child of David and Marion Barry. His father was a Presbyterian minister and social activist who, as the Executive Director of the New York City Mission Society, worked to improve the lives of people in New York's inner-city. He has three siblings: Mary Katherine Barry, the humorist Dave Barry, and Phil Barry. Barry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York at Purchase in 1981 and a Master of Divinity from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1994.

Adult life[edit]

Sam Barry is a musician and author in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also plays with the Rock Bottom Remainders, an all-author rock band founded by Goldmark in 1992.[20][21] Other members include his brother Dave Barry, Scott Turow, Roy Blount Jr., James McBride, Matt Groening, Greg Iles, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom. The group often perform in support of charitable causes.[22]

Barry is the author of How to Play the Harmonica and Other Life Lessons (2009, Gibbs Smith). He coauthored Write That Book Already!: The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now (Adams Media, 2010) with his late wife, Kathi Kamen Goldmark. Following Goldmark's death in 2012, Barry edited and contributed to the book Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band (of Authors) Ever Tells All (2012, Coliloquy), which tells the story of the band founded by Goldmark, the Rock Bottom Remainders. In 2014 Barry published Goldmark's novel Her Wild Oats (2014, Untreed Reads).[10]

Barry is the co-creator with Jennifer Lou of the humor website The Hilario www.thehilario.com [23] Until late 2017, he was the director of the Path to Publishing program at the well-known independent bookstore Book Passage.[24]



  1. ^ Barry, Sam (2021). Always a Song: Singers, Songwriters, Sinners & Saints: My Story of the Folk Music Revival. Chronicle Books LLC. ISBN 978-1452184241.
  2. ^ "Always a Song (Review)".
  3. ^ Garchik, Leah (May 3, 2013). "The Never-Ending Streetcar Track".
  4. ^ Write, Ms. (March 23, 2013). "Inscribing Industry".[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Goodman, Cindy Krischer (November 11, 2009). "Authors juggle different duties: ECONOMIC PRESSURES IN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY PROMPT AUTHORS TO BE THEIR OWN MARKETING MUSCLE". The Miami Herald. Retrieved May 25, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Larson, Deanna. "Harmonic Life Lessons." Rev. of How To Play Harmonica. BookPage. Aug. 2009. Web".
  7. ^ a b Green, Lynn (May 24, 2012). "Kathi Kamen Goldmark". BookPage. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  8. ^ "Garchik, Leah. "Ladies, Here's a Bit of Man Talk." San Francisco Chronicle 22 June 2010. Web". The San Francisco Chronicle. August 8, 2010.
  9. ^ "Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Writers' Catalyst, Dies at 63". The New York Times. 30 May 2012. Archived from the original on 22 May 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  10. ^ a b Lee Daniel Kravetz (22 July 2014). "Husband gets Kathi Kamen Goldmark's novel out to the world". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  11. ^ Tim Knox (13 July 2014). "Sam Barry: Remembering Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Her Wild Oats". Interviewing Authors.
  12. ^ "Hellstern, Melissa. "20 Questions with Author and Rock Bottom Remainder Sam Barry." Oprah Winfrey's Official Website. 21 April 2010. Web".
  13. ^ Barry, Sam (January 13, 2012). "The Weight". kathiandsam.net. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  14. ^ "Older Than Him". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  15. ^ "Nobody's Fault but Mine". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  16. ^ "(Don't) Stand By Me". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  17. ^ "News and politics from the Left Coast". 23 June 2010.
  18. ^ "peep show".
  19. ^ kalw. "Book Talk 27 June at 6:30 PM (2010-06-22)".
  20. ^ McGrath, Charles (June 4, 2007). "Rock On, but Hang on to Your Literary Gigs". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  21. ^ Gibbs, Hope Katz (December 3, 2012). "Inkandescent Radio Show Gets Honest With Author and Funny Man Sam Barry".
  22. ^ "Rock Bottom Remainders support the Book Industry Charitable Foundation". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  23. ^ "About". Archived from the original on 29 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Path to Publishing Program - Book Passage". 3 February 2014.

External links[edit]