English professor Amy Gerstler will write a hybrid poetry/literature book that explores the idea of the feminine epic.

Amy Gerstler wins Guggenheim fellowship

Amy Gerstler, professor of English, has been named a 2018 Guggenheim fellow in poetry. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s board of trustees granted 173 of the prestigious awards out of nearly 3,000 applicants. As a Guggenheim fellow, Gerstler will write a hybrid poetry/literature book that explores the idea of the feminine epic. “One of my inspirations is an ancient Greek epic poem, ‘Catalogue of Women,’ by Hesiod, that exists today only in fragments,” she said. “The fragmented voices and histories left in this poem led me to ask, ‘What would change or mutate if such a catalogue or index was written and compiled by women, rather than men, of different generations and histories? And what purpose could it serve? What if we females indexed ourselves?'” The book project will include diary entries, letters, medical reports, actual epics, cookbooks, dress codes and more. Gerstler is the author of over a dozen poetry collections and two works of fiction. She won the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry for Bitter Angel.

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