terminals: diaries

    Kathy Acker

    Kathy Acker (April 18, 1947-November 30, 1997) was one of the most influential writers of her generation. Born in Manhattan, she divided her working life between NY, London, and California. She was the author of numerous novels and anthologies of her work including the following publications on Grove Press: Pussy, King of the Pirates, 1997; Empire of the Senseless, 1988; my mother: demonology, a novel, 1993, Blood and Guts in High School, 1989; Great Expectations, 1989; Literal Madness: Kathy Goes to Haiti/My Death My Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini/Florida, 1989. Others include: Bodies of Work: Essays, Serpent's Tail, 1997; Portrait of an Eye: Three Novels-The Childlike Death of Black Tarantula by the Black Tarantula/I Dreamt I Was a Nymphomaniac/Imaging, the Adu, Grove/Atlantic, 1998; Hannibal Lecter, My Father, Native Agents Series/Semiotext(e), 1991. Acker was also an opera librettist, a playwright, a performer, a journalist, and a screenwriter. In the 1980's she worked with Richard Foreman on a play version of My Life, My Death which was presented at the Theatre de la Bastille, Paris and on the opera-The Birth of a Poet. Among the many journalism pieces she wrote during the last year of her life (including interviews with the Spice Girls and another with William Burroughs), she wrote "The Gift of Disease," an article chronicling her experience with breast cancer for the London Guardian (Jan 1997). One of Acker's final writings, the opera "Requiem," commissioned by the American Opera Project and performed in 1998, was first presented, in part, in CTHEORY, a cultural theory Web zine edited by Arthur and Marilouise Kroker. Although Acker never directly published any of her works on the Web, as Greg Lindsay writes in his December 1997 memorial, "her multi-vocal style of writing and her concern with 'plagiarizing' snippets of other texts only to spit them back out transformed definitely prefigured" this technology.