Iris Cushing is a poet, critic, editor, and scholar whose work deals with the intersections of mysticism, leftist political philosophy, and female subjectivity. As a poet, she has written extensively about mystic experience as it relates to natural history, ecology, landscape, and the American experiment; as a critic, she writes about contemporary art and poetry by women. Her literary scholarship focuses on 20th-century female poets who transgressed political and spiritual boundaries.
Cushing is most recently the author of The First Books of David Henderson and Mary Korte: A Research (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020), and Into the Long Long Time: How Mary Korte Saved the Redwoods (Ink Cap Press, 2019). Her poems and critical writings have appeared in Granta, Frieze, the Boston Review, Fence, and the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day series, and her poetry collection Wyoming won the 2013 Furniture Press Poetry Prize. She has edited three chapbooks for the Lost & Found Poetics Documents Initiative: Diane di Prima: Prometheus Unbound as a Magickal Working (Series VIII, 2019), Bobbie Louise Hawkins: The Sounding Word, and Judy Grahn: Selections from Blood, Bread and Roses (Series VI, 2016). A recipient of the Diane di Prima Fellowship from the Center for the Humanities, Cushing’s writing has also been supported by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation. Cushing holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York.