Eury and myself at her studio. Photos courtesy Eve Eurydice
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by Eve Eurydice
Born in Lesbos, Greece, Eurydice Kamvisseli is a multimedia artist, podcaster, journalist, educator, single Mom, & the author of 3 books & numerous stories & articles.
Eurydice is currently at work on a memoir titled The Lesbian that tells the history of Lesbian women--a genealogy that spans from Sappho to her great grandmother to her grandmother to her mother to her--& Lesbian language; on a nonfiction feminist book titled Speak Sex to Power; & on a novel retelling the myth of Eurydice in her own words.
Eurydice received a BA from Bard College, where she studied with Roy Lichtenstein & Robert Kelly; an MA in creative writing from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she studied with Joy Harjo & also studied at Naropa Institute with Allen Ginsberg & William Burroughs; an MA in Comparative Literature & an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University, where she studied with Robert Coover, & where she taught as an assistant professor.
She published books with Scribner (Satyricon USA: A Journey Across the New Sexual Frontier. New York, London, Sydney, Singapore, 2000), Virago Press (f/32: The Second Coming. London, New York: 1993), Richard Kasak (f/32 Revisited), the Fiction Collective (f/32). Her writing has been widely translated, taught, reviewed.
Her first novel, F32, was published as a result of winning a national award judged by Fred Tutten to which her prof Ron Sukenick submitted her thesis when she was 20 years old, living in India, working as a screenwriter. The book, the fable of a vagina on the run that at some point turns into a camera lens, became a literary cult favorite & was named as one of the best 100 books of the 20th c. Eurydice rewrote it as F32: The Second Coming which was published by Virago Press in London. Its narrative met the dominant logos head-on by describing the unspeakable act of a woman’s vagina existing in the world & in the culture as a subject. The Virago novel was translated into a dozen languages.
Her non-fiction book, Satyricon USA: A Journey Across the New Sexual Frontier, was a collection of essays representing the sexual voices of Americans at the end of the millennium, based on investigative articles & interviews of average American psychosexual morals & behaviors, practices & tropes that Eurydice published as original articles in Spin magazine, where Eurydice worked as a staff reporter & writer. Her work at Spin made her the target of protests & defamation from the Catholic League & the darling of sociosexual minority groups. She also wrote monthly sex-&-gender columns for Gear magazine for a number of years.
When she became a mother, she chose to leave NYC after 9/11 for MB where she spent the next twenty years working in the ancient tradition of stitching, the oldest form of oppressed female art. She was juried in as an artist in residence at the SF Arts Center at 800-810 Lincoln Rd. where she created art in an open studio, raised her daughter, educated the public, & mentored young women artists from New World School of the Arts for 7 years until she moved to Fountainhead Studios. She quit Fountainhead & resumed writing full-time when her daughter left home for Bard College where she is studying human rights.
Passionate about shaping young minds not as containers to be filled but as fires to be kindled, she is dedicated to education & re-education. She is fluent in the classics as well as literary & feminist theory. She pushes her students to their fullest potential from a space of collaboration, empathy, & respect for their voice & their truth. She views Apocalypse, which means lifting the veil, as truth-mining & enlightenment, & as the core purpose of a thorough education. She sees her students to the completion of their goals & all of them to date have published books & received awards. Writers whom she mentored as her graduate students at Brown University are now creative writing professors at Brown University. When she left academia to be a mother, she developed her Scribal Therapy method & has mentored lawyers, designers & other professionals on the journey from book concept to book publication.
She launched a weekly journal-memoir creative writing workshop for the women at the Lotus House Women’s (homeless) center in Miami & volunteered at the Florida Prison system, for which she was certified to teach by Exchange for Change, Miami’s Prison Writing Initiative. She founded the educational non-profit The Institute For Self-Satisfaction in Miami & the NGO Lost Genius Academy on Lesbos in response to the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015, a charity focused on educating refugees, both actual & symbolic, & enhancing intersectional, intercultural understanding. Last year she taught a class on experimental writing for Porochista Kharpoor at the Miami Writers Institute. This year she will teach Literary Queer workshops on Allen Ginsburg & William Burroughs as well as Sappho & Gertrude Stein. She hosts a weekly writers' accountability group at her home in MB & a monthly scribal book club at the Betsy hotel in MB.
Her writing, teaching, podcasting & visual art are aspects of her art practice which focuses on a feminist reinterpretation of the dominant orthodoxy & of the age-old tension between the historical flesh we inhabit & our social constructs about it--between the idealized bodies we see & the marks we make to capture them. Her practice is a continuous exercise in resistance against the patriarchal dictates of female representation in consumer culture. As a radical woman artist, she has eschewed the boundaries of art, commerce, language for 3 decades.
Her art practice focuses on female displacement. The history of the representation of the female nude in art, from humans’ earliest known scratches on prehistoric cave walls to now; the presentation of woman as object rather than subject, & the intellectual & domestic disassociation that results between a woman and her body; & the social hacks that may heal that imbalance of power constitute Eurydice's consistent recurrent themes in media as diverse as painting, drawing, sculpture, film & video, performance & installation, writing & public speaking. She has participated in numerous group or solo art shows in galleries & museums in Europe & the US. Her work is collected in dozens of private art collections & public spaces. Her artistic oeuvre is recognized by its focus on the female form & on embroidery, an ancient feminine craft that brings together her Eastern & Western heritages. Her practice reconnects her to generations of women caretakers who passed on to her their elaborate handiwork as her dowry--the talismanic blessing a bride takes from her maternal home. She has won recognition for her 30ft long hand-stitched tapestries & 20ft long hand-stitched & hand-drilled plexiglass mobiles.
She is the host of the Speak Sex Podcast which she launched in response to the resurgence of Me Too & other social justice & empowerment movements. Speak Sex to Power is an archival project comprised of conversations about current sexual languages, choices, agencies, presentations; a platform for access to personal narratives that enhance womxn’s visibility in dominant culture; a safe sober environment to re-examine codes, semantics, patterns, symbols, signifiers, common sense; a distillation of personal narratives of human bodies as capitalist transactional goods & of humans' journeys toward holistic reunion; an educational platform dedicated to launching a collective linguistic & cultural acceptance & to opening up space in patriarchy to resist institutionalized puritanism & change the prevalent perceptions of norm. Inspired by the lack of a feminist sexual language or study of the language of sex & of the acts of sex that language informs, describes, deforms, defines; shocked by the general heterodominant lack of understanding re: sexual consent, commodification, & monetization, & by the fact that it is easier for people to have sex than speak sex, Eurydice launched Speak Sex on every streaming platform. It has tens of thousands of listeners a month in a few dozen countries.
As a writer, artist & educator in a patriarchy that binds men & women to its words, laws, paradigms, aesthetics, Eurydice has used the male logos & the male gaze to recover & reclaim the suppressed truths that they were constructed to disguise & distort. Eurydice’s work connects her to her ancestors & the generations of silenced women for whom she hopes to speak.
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