The cult section of the literary world

Eckhard Gerdes

A trailblazer in dark psychedelia and experimental lit, Gerdes specializes in fiction collage, making him a Jackson Pollock of the written word.

“Amazing, inventive, risky and highly entertaining.” —Howard Kaylan, lead singer of The Turtles and member of Frank Zappa’s The Mothers of Invention



ECKHARD GERDES’ work, often darkly humorous, frequently crosses boundaries of fictional technique, ignoring time, space, cause and effect at will, in the service of stories of individuals struggling to transcend fear and limitation.

Gerdes grew up among philistines who belittle all attempts to enrich our lives with literature and art. His work had to be covert, for the dominant culture seeks to silence all whose voices do not chant the dominant culture’s desires in unison. He was able to pick up an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago along the way, but not before one teacher threatened to choke Eckhard to death for producing this kind of writing. Eckhard’s true teachers have been the voices he heard through literature — Brautigan, Patchen, Joyce, Beckett, Federman, Barth, Jaffe, Burroughs, Acker, Moorcock, Calvino, Ionesco, and the amazing Arno Schmidt to name a few — and the voices he has heard through other art forms, such as Clyfford Still, Picasso, Pollack, Kraan, Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Stockhausen, Webern, and, of course, the Doors. These are the voices of the idiosyncratic. They will be heard long after the weak voices have faded.

Gerdes has twice been the recipient of the Richard Pike Bissell Creative Writing Award, is listed in Contemporary Authors, 2000 Outstanding Writers of the 20th Century, International Authors and Writer’s Who’s Who, and Who’s Who in Writers, Editors, and Poets, and is a member of the board of advisers for CONTEXT: A Forum for Literary Arts and Culture.

He lives near Chicago with two of his sons, Ludwig and Ulysses. His oldest son, Sterling, is away at college at Georgia Tech. Occasionally, Eckhard publishes The Journal of Experimental Fiction. At times, he writes about literature for The Review of Contemporary Fiction, American Book Review, and Electronic Book Review. His fiction appears in various journals every now and then.