Connie Deanovich & Sharon Mesmer


Connie Deanovich is the author of Zombie Jet and Watusi Titanic.  Her awards include a GE Award for Younger Writers, Fund for Poetry Grants, and a Whiting Writers Award.  Widely anthologized and published in the small presses, Connie Deanovich is from Chicago and Madison Wisconsin.

Sharon Mesmer’s most recent poetry collections are The Virgin Formica (Hanging Loose, 2008) and Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo Books, 2008); previous collections are Half Angel, Half Lunch (Hard Press, 1998) and the chapbooks Vertigo Seeks Affinities (Belladonna Books, 2006) and Crossing Second Avenue(ABJ Books, Tokyo, 1997), which was published to coincide with a month-long reading tour of Japan.  Fiction collections are Ma Vie à Yonago (in French translation from Hachette Littératures, 2005) and In Ordinary Time and The Empty Quarter (Hanging Loose, 2005 and 2000).  From 2003-2006 her column, “Seasonal Affect,” appeared in the French fashion magazine Purple; currently her music and book reviews can be found in The Brooklyn Rail. In 1998 “Virgo Mater Creatrix,” her libretto in Latin composed for Prix de Rome-winning composer Barbara Kolb, premiered at the International Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Before moving to New York in 1988, Mesmer was active in the Chicago poetry scene, co-founding –editing and –publishing two literary magazines: B City (with Connie Deanovich and Deborah Pintonelli) and letter eX (with Deborah Pintonelli and Carl Watson). She returned to Chicago in 2009 to accept the Columbia College’s Alumna of the Year award.  Her other awards include a 2010 Fulbright, a 2009 Jerome Foundation/SASE grant (as co-recipient/mentor, with poet Elisabeth Workman), two New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellowships (2007 and 1999), and the 1990 MacArthur Scholarship, given through the Brooklyn College MFA poetry program by nomination of Allen Ginsberg (through a gift by John Ashbery). For the past fifteen years she has taught literature courses, fiction workshops, and graduate poetry seminars at the New School in Manhattan.  She is a member of the flarf collective.