Poetry Reading: Quan Barry

A poetry reading with Quan Barry in celebration of her latest collection, Auction (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2023). Cosponsored by Boswell Book Company.

In Auction, her first poetry collection in eight years, Quan Barry travels the globe in her signature quest into the existential nature of experience. These poems explore the inner landscapes of both the human and animal realms, revealing them to be points along the same spectrum. At the heart of the book lies an extended study of toxic storytelling as an element of warcraft, but Barry also contemplates the death of a Buddhist master, the plight of migrants both at home and abroad, the ethics of travel and consumption, and the larger question of how and why we construct a self in order to navigate the world.

A poet, novelist, and playwright, Quan Barry is the author of four previous poetry collections: Asylum, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize; ControvertiblesLoose Strife; and Water Puppets, winner of the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Her novels include She Weeps Each Time You’re BornWhen I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East; and We Ride Upon Sticks. In addition to several awards, including a 2021 Alex Award from the American Library Association, Barry has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in both poetry and fiction. Born in Saigon and raised on Boston’s northshore, she is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.