Kay Ulanday Barrett


Jersey City , NJ 07306

Author's Bio

Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, essayist, and cultural strategist, navigating life in the United States as a disabled, Filipinx-amerikan, transgender queer. Working across language and collective strategy, their practice engages cultural studies, transgender liberation, critical food studies, climate and eco-poetics, and disability justice.

Ulanday Barrett’s second poetry collection More Than Organs (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2020) dissects the concept of wholeness in search of more fluid terms that can express transient and transforming identities. The book bridges hungers and hurts both physical and emotional: drawing, at one point, upon family recipes for sustenance and comfort and, at another, reflecting upon the Pulse shooting of 2015. More Than Organs was named a Stonewall Honor Book in Literature by the American Library Association (2021) and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Transgender Poetry (2021).

Ulanday Barrett’s writing has been published by The New York Times, The Asian American Literary Review, F(r)iction, The Rumpus, and Apogee Journal, among others. They have contributed to anthologies, such as Q&A: Queer & Asian in North America (Temple University Press, 2020), Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart (Foglifter Press, 2020), Disabled People (Shades of Noir, 2020), and Subject to Change (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019).

Ulanday Barrett has presented work at The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Newark, NJ (2020); Poets House, New York, NY (2020); Boston Book Festival, Cambridge, MA (2019); The United Nations, New York, NY (2019); Symphony Space (2018); Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY (2017); and The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (2009).

They have received a Next Book Residency from Tin House (2022), James Baldwin Fellowship from MacDowell (2020), as well as fellowships from Monson Arts (2019), VONA Voices (2018), Macondo (2018), Lambda Literary (2018, 2017), and Drunken Boat (2016). They are the recipient of grants from The artEquity Artist + Activist Community Fund (2020), Disability Visibility Book Circle (2020), The Shade Literary Arts Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund (2020), and The Center for Cultural Power (2020).

Ulanday Barrett hosts and curates the Mouth to Mouth showcase at The Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

Bio provided by Foundation For Contemporary Arts, December 2021

Publications & Prizes

More Than Organs (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2020)
When The Chant Comes (Topside Press, 2016)
Prizes won: 
  • 2022 Cy Twombly Poetry Award by Foundation For Contemporary Arts 
  • 2022 New Book Residency by Tin House
  • 2021 Stonewall Honor Book for Literature 
  • 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist 
  • 2020 James Baldwin Fellowship by MacDowell 

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Asian American, Disabled, Filipino American, LGBTQ
Prefers to work with: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: May 14, 2022