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Reed, Miriam

Reed, Miriam

(Frances Miriam Reed)

PERSONAL: Born in Elizabeth, NJ; daughter of Harvey Swartley (a university professor) and Beatrice Elizabeth (a homemaker; maiden name, Smith) Reed; children: Melia Bosworth. Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., 1980; also attended Monterey Peninsula College. Politics: "As far left as one can go (though not into Lenin)." Religion: "Gaia."

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Barricade Books, Inc., 185 Bridge Plaza N., Ste. 208-A, Fort Lee, NJ 07024. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer and actor. Appeared in in solo shows known as "One-Woman Powerful Women Performances"; also appeared in commercials and on television programs, including General Hospital. University of California, Los Angeles, visiting lecturer in English, 1980–82, 1998–2000; Los Angeles Valley College, instructor, 1991–97. Los Angeles Women's Theater Festival, founder and coproducer, 1994; Celebrate Women (annual free theater festival), founder and producer, 1999–2001.

MEMBER: Screen Actors Guild, National Women's Studies Association, American Association of University Women, Planned Parenthood.

WRITINGS:

Oscar Wilde's Vera; or, The Nihilist, Edwin Mellen Press (Lewiston, NY), 1989.

Margaret Sanger: Her Life in Her Words, Barricade Books (Fort Lee, NJ), 2003.

Author of scripts for solo shows in the "One Woman Powerful Women Performances" series, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (also known as Mrs. Stanton and Susan), 1983; Louisa May Alcott: Living Little Women, 1990; Margaret Sanger: Radiant Rebel, 1993; Oscar Wilde's Women, 2000; and Talking Abortion, 2004.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Sentence as Structure and the Structure of Content; or, How to Write Great Prose (Almost) Instantly.

SIDELIGHTS: Miriam Reed told CA: "I have always loved words, particularly the sounds of words. I am the only person I know who will happily turn on the radio and listen to a foreign-language program just to hear the sounds of the language. I have always been a writer and an actress, so it seems inevitable that I write one-woman shows for myself, but I have always wanted my words to say something important, and the most important thing in the world today is for the feminine power to emerge. So I write and perform shows that depict how women take (and have taken) their power. I use the individual's own words as the basis of my texts, so in some ways I am just a very adroit editor. But I also edit and construct my own texts, as well as the language in my essays, according to the musical river of sound that flows into my mind.

"When I read, I hear the music of the words, which enhances their vitality. When I perform, the music of the language carries the message of the words on its own stream of life.

"Margaret Sanger had her own music. In writing about her and preparing the reader for her words in my introductions, I have been able to make a contribution, valuable not because it is my contribution, but because the work of Margaret Sanger is so important to women and their children. Nothing is more valuable to the health and well-being of mother and child today than that every child be wanted."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of Margaret Sanger: Her Life in Her Words, p. 1140.

Library Journal, August, 2003, Janice Dunham, review of Margaret Sanger, p. 97.

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