Gayle Brandeis
Gayle Brandeis

Gayle Brandeis is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write, the novels The Book of Dead Birds, which won Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction of Social Engagement, Self Storage, and Delta Girls, and her first novel for young people, My Life with the Lincolns, which won a Silver Nautilus Book Award. She recently released The Book of Live Wires, the sequel to The Book of Dead Birds, as an ebook. Gayle teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Antioch University and lives in Riverside, CA, where she is mom to two adult kids and a toddler. She is thrilled to begin her two year appointment as the new Inlandia Literary Laureate.

Q&A

LOCATION: Riverside, CA

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/gayle.brandeis

WHAT INSPIRES ME: People going out of their comfort zone, being brave, doing what scares them. Jacaranda blossoms. The taste of a ripe peach. My two year old discovering language. People working for social justice. People who follow their own quirky vision. Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere--I just have to remind myself to stay open to it.

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET AWAY IN MY AREA: Joshua Tree

FAVORITE WRITERS: Terry Tempest Williams; Barbara Kingsolver; Toni Morrison; Aimee Nezhukumatathil; Lidia Yuknavich; Cheryl Strayed; Laraine Herring; Rilke; too many others to mention.

ARTIST/CREATIVE YOU’D WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH: Do they have to be alive? If not, Gaudi. I’d love to peek into his brain.

MOST OVER-HYPED ARTIST: Not sure how to answer this--Banksy, maybe, although I do like his stuff.

PERFECT SOUNDTRACK FOR WRITING: The sound of my two year old laughing downstairs, because that means he’s with a babysitter and I’m able to get some writing done upstairs.

WHY I LOVE WHERE I LIVE: For a long time, I loved Riverside for its proximity to other landscapes--an hour from the ocean, an hour from the mountains, an hour from the desert--but now I love Riverside for Riverside, itself. Its humility, its community, its pockets of surprising beauty.

ART YOU MAKE (IF YOU MAKE ANY...): Aside from my writing life, I dabble in collage every once in a while. I’m also a member of the Saahira Gypsy Soul bellydance troupe.

Recent Articles
Sharon Zorn-Katz's Little Prints from Perris
Sharon Zorn-Katz's Little Prints from Perris
Sharon Zorn-Katz's prints at the Riverside Art Museum capture her family's stories through her art.
Rob Roberge and 'The Cost of Living'
Rob Roberge and 'The Cost of Living'
In his new novel, Rob Roberge continues to mine all that is beautiful and painful in his life as a writer.
Exploring the 'Golden Dream' of Riverside's Eastside
Exploring the 'Golden Dream' of Riverside's Eastside
Writer Susan Straight and photographer Doug McCulloh are telling the stories of residents of Riverside's diverse Eastside in a new exhibition opening at RAM on April 26th.
Sue Mitchell's Year of Art
Sue Mitchell's Year of Art
Sue Mitchell made a year-long project of paying close attention to the natural world at Riverside's Fairmount Park, then transformed what she discovered into art.
OrangeAID: A Grove of Riverside Art
OrangeAID: A Grove of Riverside Art
From Nov. 1-9, over one hundred 14-inch fiberglass oranges decorated by a diverse range of local artists will fill the downstairs galleries of the Riverside Art Museum.
Mass Movement: Trolley Dances in Riverside
Mass Movement: Trolley Dances in Riverside
Trolley Dances, a multi-site, site-specific performance event will debut in Riverside October 20, under the direction of choreographer Julie Satow Freeman.
From Y to Art: The History of the Riverside Art Museum and the Life Arts Center
From Y to Art: The History of the Riverside Art Museum and the Life Arts Center
The Riverside Art Museum and the Life Arts Center have transformed over time from YMCAs to temples of physical art.
Marion Mitchell-Wilson and the Inlandia Institute: The Heart and Soul of Inland Empire Literature
Marion Mitchell-Wilson and the Inlandia Institute: The Heart and Soul of Inland Empire Literature
The nonprofit literary center, Inlandia Institute, celebrates, supports and promotes the literature of the Inland Empire.
Who is the Pedley Mangler?
Who is the Pedley Mangler?
The Pedley Mangler is ubiquitous in Southern California; but what is it? An artist? A food truck? Gayle Brandeis sits down with the Mangler to decipher an identity.
Laureate on Laureate Action: A Conversation Between California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Inlandia Literary Laureate Gayle Brandeis
Laureate on Laureate Action: A Conversation Between California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Inlandia Literary Laureate Gayle Brandeis
Gayle Brandeis and Juan Felipe Herrera, appointed California Poet Laureate, exchange words over e-mail on writing and laureate life.
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California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

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Community Arts

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Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

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Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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