SKLAREW, MYRA (1934– ), U.S. poet, essayist, short fiction writer, and educator. A Maryland native, Sklarew was a professor of literature at American University, where she also co-directed its mfa in Creative Writing. Her published writing focuses on Jewish themes, including her maternal grandmother's family's experiences in small villages in Lithuania, the Holocaust, and the relationship between the neuroscience of memory and Holocaust testimony. She is the recipient of numerous awards for poetry and fiction and was the president of the artist community Yaddo. Her work has been recorded for the Library of Congress's Contemporary Poets' Archive.
Sklarew trained as a biologist at Tufts University and worked in genetics research and neurophysiology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Yale University School of Medicine. Poetry courses and seminars encouraged her longtime interest in writing and the murder of family members who had remained in Lithuania infused her life as well as her work. Her frequent journeys to Lithuania to interview bystanders, witnesses, and survivors are reflected in her poems in Lithuania (1995) and The Witness Trees (2000). Widely published in a diverse group of journals, Sklarew's eight books also include In the Basket of the Blind (1975), From the Backyard of Diaspora (1976), Blessed Art Thou, No-One (1982), The Science of Goodbyes (1982), The Travels of the Itinerant Freda Aharon (1985), Altamira (1987), Like a Field Riddled by Ants (1988), Eating the White Earth (1994), and Over the Rooftops of Time (2003).
S. Gubar, Poetry After Auschwitz (2003), 118–20.
[Myrna Goldenberg (2nd ed.)]