Discipline: Literature – poetry

Quan Barry

Discipline: Literature – poetry
Region: Madison, WI
MacDowell fellowships: 2006, 2015

Born in Saigon and raised on Boston’s northshore, Quan Barry is the Lorraine Hansberry Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Barry is the author of seven books of fiction and poetry, including the novel, When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East, which the NY Times described as, “Mesmerizing and delicate . . . a dazzling achievement… The unlikeliness of the novel is exactly its magic.” She is one of a select group of writers to receive NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction. In 2021, her novel, We Ride Upon Sticks, was awarded the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Barry is a member of the Dramatist Guild. Her first play production, The Mytilenean Debate, premiered in spring 2022. She is currently Forward Theater’s first ever Writer-in-Residence. During her residencies at MacDowell, Barry worked respectively on her poetry collection Water Puppets and her novel When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East as well as on her ping pong game.

Portrait by Jim Barnard



Quan Barry worked in the Banks studio.

Banks, an ell on the north end of the Lodge dormitory, was first used as an artist’s studio in 1970. Since then, it has played host to an extraordinary list of writers. In all seasons, Fellows have enjoyed the pastoral view through the French doors facing a field extending to the north…

Learn more