Gayle Brandeis

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Gayle Brandeis
Born (1968-04-14) April 14, 1968 (age 49)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Occupation Novelist, poet, essayist
Nationality American
Period 1990–present
Genre Historical fiction, literary fiction
Subject Social justice, feminism, environmentalism
Notable works The Book of Dead Birds
Spouse Matt McGunigle (1990–2008)
Michael Brandeis (2009–present)
Children Arin

Gayle Brandeis (born April 14, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois) is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne), Dictionary Poems (Pudding House Publications), the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change,[1] Self Storage (Ballantine) and Delta Girls (Ballantine), and her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns (Holt).[2] She has two books forthcoming in 2017, a collection of poetry, The Selfless Bliss of the Body, (Finishing Line Press[3]) and a memoir, The Art of Misdiagnosis (Beacon Press)

Gayle's poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies (such as, The Nation, and The Mississippi Review) and have received several awards, including the QPB/Story Magazine Short Story Award, a Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award,[4] a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2016. Her essay on the meaning of liberty was one of three included in the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial time capsule in 1986, when she was 18. In 2004, Writer Magazine honored Gayle with a Writer Who Makes a Difference Award.

Gayle holds a BA in "Poetry and Movement: Arts of Expression, Meditation and Healing" from the University of Redlands, and an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction from Antioch University.[5] Gayle currently teaches in the low residency MFA programs at Antioch University Los Angeles[6] and Sierra Nevada College,[7] where she was named Distinguished Visiting Professor/Writer in Residence 2014-2015. She served as Inlandia Literary Laureate from 2012-2014,[8] acting as literary ambassador to and for the Inland Empire region of Southern California. During her tenure, she worked extensively with the community, including at-risk youth, and edited the anthology ORANGELANDIA: The Literature of Inland Citrus. Gayle is currently editor in chief of Tiferet Journal and founding editor of Lady/Liberty/Lit. She is also mom to kids born in 1990, 1993 and 2009.


Gayle Brandeis' major published works are:


Gayle Brandeis' work has appeared in the following Publications:


Gayle Brandeis' work has appeared in the following Anthologies:

  • Soulmate 101 and Other Essays on Love and Sex, Full Grown People
  • No Plot? No Problem!, Chronicle Books
  • Garden Blessings: Prose, Poems and Prayers Celebrating the Love of Gardening, Cleis Press
  • Gratitude Prayers: Prayers, Poems, and Prose for Everyday Thankfulness, Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories, Persea Press
  • The Maternal Is Political, ISBN 978-1-58005-243-6, Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change (Seal Press)
  • You Have Time For This: Contemporary American Short-Short Stories, ISBN 978-1-932010-17-6, Ooligan Press
  • The Other Woman, ISBN 0-446-58022-8, Warner Books
  • American Wars: Illusions And Realities, ISBN 978-0-932863-56-0, Clarity Press
  • The Future Dictionary Of America, McSweeney's
  • The Imperfect Mom: Candid Confessions of Mothers Living in the Real World, ISBN 978-0-7679-2266-1, Broadway Books
  • Roar Softly And Carry A Great Lipstick: 28 Women Writers On Life, Sex And Survival, ISBN 1-930722-38-9, Inner Ocean
  • It's A Boy: Women Writers On Raising Sons, ISBN 1-58005-145-6, Seal Press
  • It's A Girl: Women Writers On Raising Daughters, ISBN 1-58005-147-2, Seal Press
  • Literary Mama: Reading For The Maternally Inclined, ISBN 1-58005-158-8, Seal Press
  • The Knitter's Gift: An Inspirational Bag of Words, Wisdom, and Craft, ISBN 1-59337-100-4, Adams Media
  • Mischief, Caprice, & Other Poetic Strategies, ISBN 1-888996-17-X, Red Hen Press
  • Fresh Milk: The Secret Life Of Breasts, ISBN 0-7432-1147-2, Simon & Schuster
  • Fresh Water: Poems From The Rivers, Lakes And Streams, ISBN 1-58998-082-4, Pudding House Publications
  • Proposing On The Brooklyn Bridge: Poems About Marriage, ISBN 0-9675554-6-9, Grayson Books
  • Henry’s Creature: Poems And Stories On The Automobile, ISBN 0-88753-348-5, Black Moss Press
  • 2000: Here’s To Humanity, ISBN 0-9658432-4-6, The People’s Press
  • The Spirit Of Pregnancy: An Interactive Anthology for Your Journey to Motherhood, ISBN 0-8092-2615-4, Contemporary Books
  • Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers, ISBN 1-58005-051-4, Seal Press
  • Jane's Stories II: An Anthology By Midwestern Women, ISBN 0-9639894-3-X, Wild Dove Press
  • Essential Love: Poems About Mothers And Fathers, Daughters And Sons, ISBN 0-9675554-1-8, Poetworks
  • Jewish Mothers Tell Their Stories: Acts Of Love And Courage, ISBN 0-7890-1099-2, The Haworth Press
  • The Oy Of Sex: Jewish Women Write Erotica, ISBN 1-57344-083-3, Cleis Press
  • Family Celebrations: Prayers, Poems, and Toasts For Every Occasion, ISBN 0-8362-7856-9, (Andrews McMeel)
  • Those Who Can... Teach!: Celebrating Teachers Who Make a Difference, ISBN 1-885171-35-8, Wildcat Canyon Press
  • Heal Your Soul, Heal the World: Prayers and Poems to Comfort, Inspire, and Connect Humanity, ISBN 0-8362-6915-2, Andrews McMeel
  • Eating Our Hearts Out: Personal Accounts of Women's Relationship to Food, ISBN 0-89594-569-X, The Crossing Press
  • Vegetarian Pregnancy: The Definitive Nutritional Guide to Having a Healthy Baby, ISBN 0-935526-21-8, McBooks Press
  • Our Mothers, Ourselves: Writers and Poets Celebrating Motherhood, ISBN 0-89789-445-6, Bergin & Garvey
  • The Breast: An Anthology, ISBN 0-9641292-8-0, Global City Press
  • Pandemonium: Or, Life with Kids, ISBN 1-887166-19-X, Hysteria Publications
  • Which Lilith?: Feminist Writers Re-Create The World’s First Woman, ISBN 0-7657-6015-0, Jacob Aronson


  • Notable Essay, The Best American Essays 2016
  • “Climbing at Joshua Tree” poem selected by United States Department of the Interior to be installed in the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center, 2016
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination, Full Grown People, 2014
  • Inlandia Literary Laureate, 2012-2014
  • Writer in Residence, Riverside Art Museum, 2012-2014
  • Silver Nautilus Book Award, My Life with the Lincolns, 2012
  • Read On Wisconsin selection, My Life with the Lincolns, January, 2011
  • Women of Distinction, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, 2008
  • Breakout Book, Target's Bookmarked Program (February, 2008, paperback release of Self Storage)
  • Special Mention, Pushcart Prize, 2007
  • Arts Honoree, City of Riverside, 2007
  • Nomination,Pushcart Prize, Amazon Shorts, 2006
  • Notable Story of 2005, Million Writers Short Story Award, 2006
  • Honorable Mention, Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Competition, 2006
  • Keynote Speaker, Conference on Gender and Culture, Oregon State U., 2006
  • Writer Who Makes a Difference Award, The Writer Magazine, 2004
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination, The Vestal Review, 2004
  • Keynote Speaker, National Association for Women Writers Conference, 2004
  • Notable Book, Kirayama Pacific Rim Book Prize, The Book of Dead Birds, 2004
  • BookSense selection, American Booksellers Association, The Book of Dead Birds, 2003
  • Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, The Book of Dead Birds, 2002
  • BookSense selection, American Booksellers Association, Fruitflesh, 2002
  • Second Place, 24-Hour Short Story Contest, Writers Weekly, 2002
  • Graduation Speaker, Antioch University, 2001.
  • First Place, Inscriptions Force of Nature Poetry Contest, 2001.
  • Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant, 1999.
  • Winner, Art on the Air/Inventing the Invisible “Vision” Poetry Award, 1999.
  • Winner, 1998 Quality Paperback Book Club/Story Magazine Short Story Award.
  • Finalist, Icarus Poetry Competition, 1998.
  • Finalist, Flash Fiction Competition, 1998.
  • Finalist, Shenango Rivers Press Prose Chapbook Competition, 1998.
  • Editor's Choice Award in Fiction, Scarlet Apple Enterprises, 1997.
  • Second Place, The Empty Shelf Fiction Contest, 1997.
  • Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award, sponsored by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 1996.
  • Grand Prize, "Mini Plays" play writing contest sponsored by Lake Arrowhead Performing Arts Company, 1995.
  • First Place, "Poetry in Motion" contest sponsored by Chaparral Poets, 1993.
  • PEN American Center Grant, 1993.
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1990.


  1. ^ The Bellwether Prize 2002 Press release
  2. ^ "Gayle Brandeis Bio". Official Website. 
  3. ^ "The Selfless Bliss of the Body by Gayle Brandeis – Finishing Line Press". Retrieved 2017-04-02. 
  4. ^ "Waging Peace Award Page". Official Website. 
  5. ^ "Antioch LA Faculty Directory". Official Website. 
  6. ^ "Gayle Brandeis, MFA - Antioch Los Angeles". Antioch Los Angeles. Retrieved 2017-04-02. 
  7. ^ "Directory | Sierra Nevada College". Sierra Nevada College. Retrieved 2017-04-02. 
  8. ^ INSTITUTE, INLANDIA. "RIVERSIDE: Inlandia Literary Laureate Gayle Brandeis announced". Press Enterprise. Retrieved 2017-04-02. 

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