Strickland, Stephanie 1942–
Strickland, Stephanie 1942–
PERSONAL: Born February 22, 1942, in Detroit, MI; daughter of Harold Allison, Jr., and Ruth Margaret (Voigt) Strickland; married Donald Wells Pfaff (divorced); children: Robin, Alexander, Douglas. Education: Harvard University, B.A., 1963; Sarah Lawrence College, M.F.A., 1978; Pratt Institute, M.S., 1984.
CAREER: Sarah Lawrence, Bronxville, NY, worked as automated services librarian, head of access services, and women's studies reference specialist, 1978–90; acquisitions consultant, 1991–. Hudson Valley Writers' Center, member of board of trustees, 1983–95, 1999–2005; Slapering Hol Press, editor, 1990–2005; Electronic Literature Organization, Board of Literary Advisors, 2000–2003, and member of the board of trustees, 2003–. Invited semester appointments include Boise State University, Distinguished Visiting Writer, 2001; Georgia Institute of Technology, McEver Chair in Writing, 2002; University of Montana, Missoula, Hugo Visiting Writer, 2003; Sarah Lawrence College, 2004; and Columbia College, Chicago, Visiting Poet in Residence, 2005. Short-term residencies at many other institutions include Brown University, Electronic Writer in Residence; Hollins University, Macalester College, Miami University, Manhattanville College, and Carlow College. Also participant in conferences and workshops; judge of poetry competitions; gives readings from her works.
MEMBER: Authors Guild, PEN American Center, Poetry Society of America, Academy of American Poets, Poets House, SLSA: Society for Literature, Sciences and the Arts, Media Ecology Association, ASCI: Art and Science Collaborations, YLEM: Artists Using Science and Technology.
AWARDS, HONORS: Yaddo fellow, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, and 2003; New York State Creative Artists Public Service grant in poetry, 1981; fellow of MacDowell Colony, 1981 and 1997; Ragdale fellow, 1987; National Endowment for the Arts, creative writing grant, 1988; Open Voice Award, West Side Y Center for the Arts, 1989; Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award for Poems on the Jewish Experience, Judah Magnes Museum, 1992; Brittingham Prize, University of Wisconsin Press, 1993, for The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil; National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in Electronic Literature, 1995; Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, Poetry Society of America, 1996, for True North, and 2000, for V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L'una; Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize, University of Notre Dame Press, 1997, for True North; poetry fellow, New York Foundation for the Arts, 1997; fellow, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, 1998; Salt Hill Hypertext Prize, 1998, for the hypertext poem True North; poetry prize, Boston Review, 1999, for "Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot"; Poetry's Best of the Net Award, About.com, 1999; fellow, Valparaiso Foundation, 2000.
Walls that Were a Garden (chapbook), Press of the Good Mountain (Rochester, NY), 1984.
Beyond This Silence (chapbook), State Street Press (Brockport, NY), 1988.
Give the Body Back, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1991.
(Editor, with Anneliese Wagner) River Poems, Slapering Hol Press (Tarrytown, NY), 1992.
(Editor) What's Become of Eden: Poems of Family at Century's End, Slapering Hol Press (Tarrytown, NY), 1994.
True North, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1997.
V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L'una, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Work represented in anthologies, including Songs for Our Voices: Award-Winning Poetry on the Jewish Experience, Judah Magnes Museum, 1993; Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age, Coffee House Press, 1995; Open Door: A Poet Lore Anthology, Writer's Center Editions, 1997; Verse and Universe: Poems about Science and Math, Milkweed Editions, 1998; Best of Prairie Schooner: Fiction and Poetry, University of Nebraska Press, 2001; and The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, Columbia University Press, 2001. Also author or coauthor of poetry for various Internet sites, including "Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot," "To Be Here as Stone Is," "Errand upon Which We Came," and "Vniverse." Contributor of poetry to periodicals, including Fence, Boston Review, Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Grand Street, Harvard Review, Chain, Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, and Big Allis. A hypertext version of "Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot" has been published by WordCircuits.
Contributor of essays and articles to books, including The Measured Word: Essays about Poetry and Science, University of Georgia Press, 2001; First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004; Media Poetry: Poetic Innovation and New Technologies, edited by Eduardo Kac, Intellect Press (Bristol, England), 2006; and New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories, edited by Thomas Swiss and Adalaide Morris, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006. Contributor to periodicals, including Leonardo Electronic Almanac, American Letters and Commentary, Electronic Book Review, Riding the Meridian, Currents in Electronic Literacy, New River, and Isotope.
ADAPTATIONS: A hypertext version of True North was released by Eastgate Systems (Watertown, MA), 1998.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Zone: Zero, forthcoming 2008.
SIDELIGHTS: Poet Stephanie Strickland has earned a reputation for intellectually serious yet accessible writing. In a review of Beyond This Silence, Prairie Schoo-ner contributor Colette Inez identified "lush and sensuous" language, keen observation, and empathy among the poet's gifts, concluding that "Strickland's eloquence provides us with the particulars of a richly perceived life, and in the process does honor to the mother tongue." Give the Body Back also received positive attention. Choice reviewer H. Susskind described it as a "fine book," especially noting Strickland's "refreshing" idea of meaning being situated within the body because body and soul are one. Though Library Journal contributor Ellen Kaufman found some monotony in the book's subject matter, she considered the book "passionate" and acknowledged the importance of Strickland's themes regarding the female body and spirit.
The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil also attracted critical notice. Strickland wrote the poems in this collection to commemorate the life of Weil (1909–1943), a French philosopher and mystic. Many critics considered the volume a laudable tribute. Judy Clarence, writing in the Library Journal, observed that it contains some "achingly lovely" pieces, as well as more prosaic ones; the critic hailed it as a "moving" book. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly observed that the book's premise is "intriguing," but concluded that Strickland fails to imbue the collection with the kind of insight that would elevate it beyond the level of mere biography. Belles Lettres reviewer Linda Lee Harper, though, commented on the work's clarity of vision, lyrical complexity, and compassion. "The poems in The Red Virgin resonate endlessly," wrote Harper, describing Strickland as "an extraordinary poet [who] has provided a poignant memorial."
In True North, Strickland explores the relationship between space and time, considering such subjects as language and number theory, cosmology, scientific inquiry, pregnancy, and folklore. Booklist writer Patricia Monaghan expressed enthusiasm for the book's erudite quality, observing that "ideas and facts stud [Strickland's] poetry like so many gleaming jewels." Monaghan also noted the complex metaphorical links Strickland achieved in the collection, as well as the poet's "passion for ideas and for human connection." Additionally, Women's Review of Books contributor Judith E. Johnson stated: "the volume is a tour de force, and exhilarating to read." Strickland went on to create a hypertext version of True North, which won a Salt Hill Hypertext Prize. The hypertext experiment, in the opinion of Dene Grigar in the American Book Review, "retains the richness of the cosmic vision and poetic language found in … the print text."
V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L'una is unique in its format; Strickland told CA that it is "the first print poem ever to specify an integral digital component." Indeed, readers who wish to view the book's third section must visit www.Vniverse.com. Strickland also described V as a "double invertible book" that features two covers and two beginnings. For the most part, critics applauded the book's innovative approach. Los Angeles Times contributor Carol Muske-Dukes commented that "the elegiac feel of these poems is haunting and passionate…. They read like the one long episodic dream of a being who exists between atmospheres, like a mermaid."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Book Review, June-July, 1992, Keith S. Norris, review of Give the Body Back, p. 23; November-December, 1999, Dene Grigar, review of hypertext version of True North, p. 12.
Belles Lettres: Review of Books by Women, spring, 1995, Linda Lee Harper, review of The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil, pp. 95-96.
Booklist, November 15, 1994, Patricia Monaghan, review of What's Become of Eden: Poems of Family at Century's End, p. 575; December 1, 1996, Patricia Monaghan, review of True North, p. 640.
Choice, April, 1992, H. Susskind, review of Give the Body Back, p. 1229.
Georgia Review, spring, 1998, Fred Muratori, review of True North, p. 156.
Library Journal, November 15, 1991, Ellen Kaufman, review of Give the Body Back, p. 86; November 1, 1993, Judy Clarence, review of The Red Virgin, pp. 97-98.
Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2002, Carol Muske-Dukes, review of V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L'una.
Prairie Schooner, summer, 1988, Colette Inez, review of Beyond This Silence, pp. 134-135.
Publishers Weekly, November 15, 1993, review of The Red Virgin, p. 76. November 28, 1994, review of What's Become of Eden, p. 56; November 4, 2002, review of V, p. 78.
Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 1994, review of The Red Virgin, p. 101.
Women's Review of Books, July, 1997, Judith E. Johnson, review of True North, p. 28.
Blackbird, http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/ (November 9, 2006), Edward Falco, review of V.
Eastgate Systems Web site, http://www.eastgate.com/ (August 4, 2006).
Iowa Review Online, http://www.uiowa.edu/∼iareview/ (November 9, 2006), Jaishree Odin, "Image and Text in Hypermedia Literature: The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot."
Smartish Pace, http://www.smartishpace.com/ (November 9, 2006), Janet McCann, review of V.
Stephanie Strickland Home Page, http://stephaniestrickland.com (August 4, 2006).