A Literary Arts Career: Pitzer Alumnus Quentin Ring ’01

Discover how Pitzer in Nepal’s cultural immersion, collaborations with Pitzer faculty, and creative passion launched Ring’s dream job 

Quentin Ring has short dark brown hair and wears an olive green collared shirt as he sits on a white staircase.
Quentin Ring ’01

As the executive director of Beyond Baroque, the oldest literary arts center in Los Angeles, Pitzer alumnus Quentin Ring ’01 nourishes creativity in all facets. Founded in 1968, Beyond Baroque boasts extensive programming in the arts, a black box theater, a garden, a gallery, and a bookstore.  

Beyond Baroque alumni include poets Amanda Gorman and Wanda Coleman and the punk rock band X. 

“We support new writers to nurture new writing and build a diverse literary community,” said Ring. “We primarily support poets, but we also cover the literary arts and beyond.” 

The literary scene has long been Ring’s passion. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English and world literature at Pitzer and a master’s degree in humanities with a focus on poetry and poetics at the University of Chicago, Ring discovered Beyond Baroque as he worked on his own writing. Starting as a volunteer in the garden, Ring eventually became the grant writer, then assistant director, and finally executive director in 2019. 

“I always wanted to be involved in the literary world,” said Ring. “I never expected it to turn into a career!” 

Pitzer was pivotal in preparing Ring for his role, including his time studying abroad through Pitzer in Nepal—the College’s longest-running program that blends family stays, language classes, field trips, community projects, and an integrated curriculum for students to interact with the people of Nepal. 

“The cultural immersion programs were helpful in thinking transnationally about different cultures and arts, which is the background of my thinking at Beyond Baroque,” said Ring. 

“At Pitzer, I felt empowered because I had close relationships with my professors to explore literary and artistic interests.”

Quentin Ring

Pitzer also provided educational freedom and helped him build confidence. As a student, Ring became involved in the English and world literature field group faculty meetings, where he provided student input about hires—a practice that continues in the field group to this day. 

The experience gave Ring the confidence to work with professors and writers as a peer. Consequently, at Beyond Baroque, Ring felt comfortable coming with ideas to grow the organization and was ready to “be both a leader and a supporter of the artistic work.” 

“At Pitzer, I felt empowered because I had close relationships with my professors to explore literary and artistic interests,” said Ring.

Ring continues to explore those interests and passes them on to the next generation of writers and artists, supporting them just as he was supported at Pitzer.