Tuesday, March 22, 2011

April 26: Eleanor Lerman and Gail Mazur

Eleanor Lerman's most recent collection of poems, The Sensual World Re-Emerges was published by Sarabande Press in 2010. It has been nominated for three awards: ForeWord's Book of the Year (poetry), The Audre Lorde Poetry Award from the Publishing Triangle and the Lambda Literary Award (poetry). Her collection of short stories, The Blonde on the Train (Mayapple Press), came out in 2009.

Eleanor's first book of poetry, Armed Love (Wesleyan University Press), was published in 1973 when she was twenty-one and was nominated for a National Book Award. While Eleanor quickly became known as an exciting young poet with a direct, new voice, she also faced criticism for her explicit depiction of then-shocking subject matter. One more collection, Come the Sweet By and By followed in 1975, and then, partly in response to the backlash against her first book, she did not write another book of poems until 2001, when The Mystery of Meteors. This was followed by Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds (2005), which was awarded the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets for the year's most outstanding book of poetry.

Raised in the Bronx and Far Rockaway, Eleanor has lived in New York City all her life.

Gail Mazur’s poems celebrate the din and detail of ordinary life. Her most recent volume, Zeppo’s First Wife: New and Selected Poems, won the Massachusetts Book Award and her 2001 volume They Can’t Take That Away from Me was a finalist for the National Book Award. Gail published her first collection, Nightfire in 1978 and followed that with The Pose of Happiness (1986).

A graduate of Smith College, Gail has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. Active in the Boston and Cambridge literary communities, she has served as the founding director of the Blacksmith House Poetry Center, and as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College.