Gayle Brandeis is the author, most recently, of Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Grief (Overcup Books). Previous books include the memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis (Beacon Press); the novel in poems, Many Restless Concerns (Black Lawrence Press), shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Prize; the craft book Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne); the poetry collections The Selfless Bliss of the Body (Finishing Line Press) and Dictionary Poems (Pudding House); the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won the PEN/Bellwether Prize judged by Barbara Kingsolver, Toni Morrison, and Maxine Hong Kingston, Self Storage (Ballantine), a Target Breakout Book, Delta Girls (Ballantine), and her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns, a statewide read in Wisconsin. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Salon, Longreads, The Rumpus, The Nation, and O, The Oprah Magazine, and have received several awards, including the Columbia Journal Creative Nonfiction Prize, the QPB/Story Magazine Short Story Award, a Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Sierra Arts Foundation, and Notable Essays in The Best American Essays 2016, 2019, and 2020. Gayle was named the 2018 Multi-Genre Maverick Writer by the Willamette Writers. Her essay on the meaning of liberty was one of three included in the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial time capsule in 1986, and in 2004, The Writer magazine named Gayle a Writer Who Makes a Difference.
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. She served as Inlandia Literary Laureate from 2012- 2014 and currently lives in Highland Park, IL.