Kathy Acker was born in April 18, 1947 in New York. She first attended Brandeis University and studied classics but transferred to the University of California and graduated in 1968. Her first published writings emerged in the New York literary scene in the 1970s and are said to of been influenced by her experiences as a stripper. Other influences include, William S. Burroughs, Fluxus, the Black Mountain College, Gilles Deleuze, and French philosophy and feminism. In 1972, she published her first book, Politics; her first novels, The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula: Some Lives of Murderesses and I Dreamt I Was a Nymphomaniac: Imagining, followed in 1973 and 1974. She received a Pushcart Prize in 1979 for her short story "New York City in 1979". Acker moved to London in the early 1980s, and published her most well known work, Blood and Guts in High School, in 1982. Her writing is characterized by controversial topics such as sex, violence, rape, abortion, incest, and feminism and a tendency to adapt or borrow from older literature, such as The Scarlet Letter, Don Quixote, and Great Expectations. Upon her return to the US, Acker taught at multiple colleges. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 1996 and passed away in in alternative cancer clinic in Tijuana, Mexico in 1997. Her clothing was photographed by Kaucyila Brooke from 1999-2004.
Kathy Acker is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Tom Burr