Bechdel & Myles Named 2012 Guggenheim Fellows

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Bechdel & Myles Named 2012 Guggenheim Fellows

Eileen Myles and Alison Bechdel have been named Guggenheim "Nonfiction" Fellows for 2012, according to a press release by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The awards, "often characterized as "midcareer" awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Bechdel's second memoir, Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama, arrived into bookstores last week to much fanfare. (Indeed, I'm halfway through reading my copy as I write this!) She's promoting the book in stores throughout the U.S., and will be at the Barnes & Noble on the UWS in NYC on Tuesday, 1 May for a reading and book-signing.

In Are You My Mother, Bechdel attempts, using a lot of Winnicott (on transitional objects) and Freud (on dream interpretations), to unfurl the fraught relationship between her and her mother, which entails her working through, to a certain extent, her relationship with her father again as well:

As I mentioned, I'm halfway through this book and find it more thought-provoking and her writing more enlightened than that of Fun Home. Perhaps it's because Winnicott in and of himself is fascinating. But I also think it's because Bechdel has really mastered the ability to examine herself and her interpersonal relations in the form of the graphic novel, which interweaves image and text and results in the production of multiple kinds of interpretation and enables a "reading otherwise." 

Fresh off the success of Inferno: A Poet's Novel, Eileen Myles has just released her first book of poetry since 2007, Snowflake / different streets

Myles is also traveling on speaking engagements throughout the U.S. throughout the spring, She was also just featured over at the Advocate in a really adorable piece about what she "advocates" this month; in addition to advocating the Occupy Movement and the poetry project at St. Mark's Church, Myles also advocates: 

(from The Advocate)


Congratulations to both Bechdel and Myles, and many wishes for continued success!