Sher, Gail 1942-

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Sher, Gail 1942-

PERSONAL:

Born 1942.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Emeryville, CA.

CAREER:

Poet, writer, teacher, and psychotherapist.

WRITINGS:

POETRY

From Another Point of View the Woman Seems to be Resting, Trike Press (San Francisco, CA), 1981.

(As) On Things which (Headpiece) Touches the Moslem, Square Zero Editions (Missoula, MT), 1982.

Rouge to Beak Having Me, Moving Letters Press (Paris, France), 1983.

Broke Aide, Burning Deck (Providence, RI), 1985.

Cops, Little Dinosaur (Albany, CA), 1988.

Kuklos, Paradigm Press (Kent, WA), 1995.

Like a Crane at Night, 1996.

La, Rodent Press (Boulder, CO), 1997.

Marginalia, Rodent Press (Boulder, CO), 1997.

One Bug … One Mouth … Snap!, 1997.

Saffron Wings, 1998.

Fifty Jigsawed Bones, 1999.

Lines: The Life of a Laysan Albatross, 2000.

The Moon of the Swaying Buds: A Spiritual Autobiography, EdgeWork (Boulder, CO), 2002.

Look at That Dog All Dressed Out in Plum Blossoms, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2002.

Birds of Celtic Twilight, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2004.

redwind daylong daylong, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2004.

Once There Was Grass, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2004.

RAGA, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2004.

DOHA, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2006.

Watching Slow Flowers, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2006.

The Copper Pheasant Ceases Its Call, Night Crane Press (Emeryville, CA), 2007.

NONFICTION

From a Baker's Kitchen: Techniques and Recipes for Professional Quality Baking in the Home Kitchen, Aris Books (Berkeley, CA), 1984, reprinted 2005.

One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers, Penguin Arkana (New York, NY), 1999.

The Intuitive Writer: Listening to Your Own Voice, Penguin Compass (New York, NY), 2002.

Writing the Fire!: Yoga and the Art of Making Your Words Come Alive, Bell Tower (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

A poet, psychotherapist, teacher, and Zen monk, Gail Sher combined her knowledge earned from over twenty years as a writer with her mastery of the Zen tradition to produce several writing guides. Her first, One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers, urges established and would-be writers to create a writing routine and let the writing process happen without self-censure. Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, writing for the Spirituality and Practice Web site, regarded the book as "highly recommended to writers," adding: "Gail Sher's approach is equally practical, imaginative, and inspiring." Ron Jeffries, an XProgramming.com reviewer, described One Continuous Mistake as "inspirational" and "very thoughtful." Another of Sher's books, The Intuitive Writer: Listening to Your Own Voice, borrows from Buddhist teachings as well as those of other Eastern religions to help writers discover their own voice. Writer contributor Lee B. Roberts found the book "an inspirational volume that can be read in sequence or used as a reference guide."

Sher is also a prolific writer of poetry, tending toward the Japanese structures of haiku and tanka. One work in particular, 2002's The Moon of the Swaying Buds: A Spiritual Autobiography, combines the traditional haiku poem with journal-like passages of prose, an ancient structure called haibun. HoltUnsensored.com contributor Pat Holt described the volume as "an exciting foray, sometimes surprising us with narrative vision, other times leaving us stunned by the author's poetic insight." Pam Kingsbury, writing for ForeWord, commented: "This book will either introduce readers to the Haibun form of poetry or remind readers of its power…. Her [Sher's] quiet meditations and unrelenting honesty are apparent on every page."

Sher's first nonfiction book, From a Baker's Kitchen: Techniques and Recipes for Professional Quality Baking in the Home Kitchen, was the culmination of her time as head baker at San Francisco's popular Tassajara Bread Bakery. The compilation of breadmaking principles, recipes, drawings was rereleased in 2005 as a twentieth anniversary edition.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Sher, Gail, The Moon of the Swaying Buds: A Spiritual Autobiography, EdgeWork (Boulder, CO), 2002.

PERIODICALS

ForeWord, March-April, 2002, Pam Kingsbury, review of The Moon of the Swaying Buds.

Writer, April, 2002, Lee B. Roberts, review of The Intuitive Writer: Listening to Your Own Voice, p. 46.

ONLINE

Gail Sher Home Page,http://www.gailsher.com (November 11, 2006).

Holt Uncensored,http://www.holtuncensored.com/ (February 12, 2002), Pat Holt, review of The Moon of the Swaying Buds.

Spirituality and Practice,http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ (November 11, 2006), Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, review of One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers.

XProgramming.com,http://www.xprogramming.com/ (January 28, 2002), Ron Jeffries, review of One Continuous Mistake.