Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1945. A most prolific poet, her first book was published when she was twenty-three years old. For many years Mayer lived and worked on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She was the Director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project from 1980 to 1984. Now, many texts later she continues to write progressive poetry from her home in East Nassau, New York. Mayer has taught at Naropa Poetics Institute, New School for Social Research, College of Staten Island, and New England College. She has received grants and awards from: PEN American Center, Foundation for Contemporary Performing Art, The NEA, The Academy for American Poets, and American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Warrior Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was a native New Yorker and daughter of immigrants. Both her activism and her published work speak to the importance of struggle for liberation among oppressed peoples and of organizing in coalition across differences of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age and ability. An internationally recognized activist and artist, Audre Lorde was the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit, which conferred the mantle of New York State poet for 1991-93. In designating her New York State’s Poet Laureate, Governor Mario Cuomo observed: “Her imagination is charged by a sharp sense of racial injustice and cruelty, of sexual prejudice…She cries out against it as the voice of indignant humanity. Audre Lorde is the voice of the eloquent outsider who speaks in a language that can reach and touch people everywhere.”
Hannah Wilke (1940-1993), the pioneering feminist conceptual artist, worked in sculpture, drawing, assemblage, photography, performance and installation. Innovative and controversial throughout her life, Wilke is considered the first feminist artist to use vaginal imagery in her work, and her place in 20th century art continues to be established since her death.
Sabina Spielrein, a pioneer active in the early stages of the birth of psychoanalysis who made significant contributions to the field, was the first person to propose the thesis about instinctual life, which Freud later adapted. Spielrein determined that instinctual life was based on two instincts—the life instinct and the death instinct—which were opposed to each other. Spielrein’s contributions to the early development of psychoanalysis have been overlooked and, until recently, mainly forgotten. In the mid–1970s papers pertaining to Spielrein, including diaries and correspondence, which were found hidden in a basement in Geneva revived interest in her.
Rita Ackermann is a contemporary Hungarian-born American painter, best known for her abstract, bodily works addressing issues of anthropomorphism and femininity. Frequently featuring nymph-like women and hints of fairy tales, her paintings examine adolescent ennui through a personal language of lush and gestural mark-making. Born in 1968 in Budapest, Hungary, she studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and the New York Studio School. She has explained that she creates her paintings through dance: “Sometimes I like when the gestures disappear—the brushstrokes, and gestures disappear—and it’s more just a well-conducted chaos of stains,” Ackermann said. She has exhibited with Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York, and has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth in Zurich, the Swiss Institute in New York, and the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, among others. Popular among the fashion industry and reportedly collected by fellow artists Tracey Emin and John Currin, she has also collaborated with filmmaker Harmony Korine. Ackermann lives and works in New York, NY. (artnet)
Mary Timony (born in Washington, D.C., 1970) is an independent singer-songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, and violist from the United States. In 1990-91 Timony played guitar and shared lead vocals in the Washington, D.C.-based band Autoclave. She later relocated to Boston, where she graduated from Boston University with a degree in English literature and formed the band Helium in the summer of 1992, recording two albums and three EPs with the group between 1994 and 1997. (pc-pdx.com)