Barrett is a graduate of the certificate Fiction Writing Program at the University of Washington, and received her MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a university adjunct writing instructor and teaches writing at conferences including Port Townsend, AWP, SDSU, and elsewhere. She was an editor at Hunger Mountain, and her "Writing Beyond Good" series appeared in The Missouri Review blog. Barrett can’t abide sameness so has no tattoos, but changes her hair color so often she doesn’t remember what she looks like at any given moment. Imagine her surprise to pass a mirror and see a blue/pink/magenta haired woman staring back.

Her work has appeared in Shenandoah, Drunken Boat, Night Train, Author, Los Angeles Review, Spartan, and elsewhere. An excerpt of her novel-in-progress was selected for publication in New Voices, her story "Aphrodite Carries Condoms" won Honorable Mention in the Bevel Summers Prize, her story "Toronado" received Honorable Mention in the Bacopa Fiction Award, "The Shape of Desire" was selected for the Wordstock Ten Short Fiction Award anthology, and "The Bed You Made" received Honorable Mention in the Faulkner Novella Competition. Barrett's in-progress episodic novel, Bound in Shallows, was finalist in the James Jones Fellowship; A Cooler Than Hot Place was longlisted in the MsLexia novel competition and a Semi-Finalist in the William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.

Barrett’s entrenched coffee addiction makes her a slave to the bean—she doesn't mind so much when The Bean jerks her chain, but wearing the copper bikini gets tiresome. She avoids the sun like a vampire, so is well suited to life in the cool grey light of the Pacific Northwest.