2021-22 Writer in Residence

Amy Quan Barry


We are privileged to have poet, author, and playwright Amy Quan Barry as our Writer in Residence for the 2021-22 season. Amy is best known for her fiction and poetry, but her talent as a playwright is something we are most excited to experience at FTC. We're thrilled to produce her play, The Mytilenean Debate, in February 2022.

Look for future announcements regarding poetry readings and exclusive events with this exceptional writer during the 2021-22 season.

The Forward Theater Writer in Residence program is sponsored by CUNA Mutual.

Above photo by Jim Barnard.

About Amy Quan Barry:


Born in Saigon and raised on Boston’s northshore, Amy Quan Barry is the Lorraine Hansberry Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she has directed both the MFA Program in Creative Writing and the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Barry is the author of six books of fiction and poetry, including the recent novel We Ride Upon Sticks, which O: Oprah Magazine describes as, “Spellbinding, wickedly fun.” The New York Times described her previous work, She Weeps Each Time You’re Born, as “deeply affecting.” Her third novel, When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East, follows a group of Buddhist monks as they search for a reincarnation in the vast Mongolian landscape; When I’m Gone... will be published in spring 2022.

In 2012, Barry was commissioned to write a ten-minute piece for Book Wings, an arts exchange established by President Obama and then President Dmitry Medvedev and funded by the Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Three Variations on a Theme was performed and broadcast simultaneously at the University of Iowa and the Moscow Art Theatre, the same space where Chekov premiered much of his work. That same year she traveled under the aegis of the US State Department as a cultural ambassador to Southeast Asia. Barry is also one of a select group of writers to receive NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction. In 2021, she was awarded the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Amy is excited and honored to serve as Forward Theater’s first Writer-in-Residence. In addition to gaining more experience and knowledge of theatrical practices, she also hopes to write and develop a play that modernizes the story of MacBeth.