Graphic novelist, cartoonist and creativity educator Lynda Barry of Madison is one of this year’s winners of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship, commonly known as a “genius” grant.

In naming her one of its 2019 fellows, the MacArthur Foundation praised Barry for “inspiring creative engagement through original graphic works and a teaching practice centered on the role of image making in communication.”

Barry, 63, is known for her graphic novels, including “One! Hundred! Demons!” (2002), a contemporary riff on a 16th-century Zen painting, and “The Good Times Are Killing Me” (1988), and for her long-running “Ernie Pook’s Comeek,” a weekly comic strip that appeared in alternative publications.

She is also an associate professor of interdisciplinary creativity in the art department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “In her ‘Writing the Unthinkable’ workshops, she leads students through exercises that emphasize the physical process of writing and drawing, often under time pressure, to stimulate creative thinking,” the MacArthur Foundation noted.

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