A barbed tissue connector is disclosed for use in closing a body wound. The connector includes an elongated body and a pointed end to facilitate insertion of the connector into tissue. A plurality of closely-spaced barbs are disposed on the body from the pointed end of the connector to a predetermined location on the body. The barbs are yieldable toward the body to make it easier to insert the connector in tissue, and the barbs are generally rigid in an opposite direction to hold the connector in the tissue. The body of the connector is substantially rigid and is sufficiently resilient to return to a predetermined position after deflection therefrom. The connector can be manually inserted into the tissue of a patient, or the connector can be inserted by means of an inserting device which is retracted after the connector is in place.