A recipient of the 2021 Diann Blakely Poetry Prize and the 2015 Sparks Prize Fellowship, Paul Cunningham is a writer, filmmaker, editor, translator, and educator. He is the author of Fall Garment (Schism Press, 2022) and The House of the Tree of Sores (Schism Press, 2020). He has also authored four poetry chapbooks: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (Pangur Ban Party, 2010), foamghast (NAP Books, 2012), Goal/Tender Meat/Tender (horse less press, 2015), and The Inmost (Carrion Bloom Books, 2020). His interests include ecocritical studies, decadent poetics, and literary translation in theory and practice. He holds a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame and he co-manages Action Books, an international press for poetry and translation. Action Books seeks to move poetry and poetics from other literary cultures into the center of US poetry discussions, undermining nationalist rubrics under which literature is marketed and discussed.
From the Swedish, he is the translator of Helena Österlund‘s Words (OOMPH! Press, 2019). He has also translated two chapbooks by Sara Tuss Efrik: Automanias: Selected Poems (winner of the 2015 Goodmorning Menagerie chapbook contest) and The Night’s Belly (Toad Press, 2016). His writing has appeared in Poem-a-Day, Denver Quarterly, The Fourth River, Bat City Review, Quarterly West, OmniVerse, Yalobusha Review, DIAGRAM, Spork, LIT: The Journal of The New School, Tarpaulin Sky, and many others. His book reviews have appeared in Transmotion: An Online Journal of Indigenous Studies, Harvard Review, Heavy Feather Review, Kenyon Review, Fanzine, and DIAGRAM.
With artist Sam Shoemaker, he completed Evidence from Lunar Rocks, a 7×7.la collaboration. In 2018, Sarah E. Brook featured one of his poems in “Viewfinding,” a public sculpture formerly located in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In 2019, he collaborated with artist Chris Xavier on an interpretation of “Feast Green and Stained.” His short film It Is Announced (a collaboration with poet/painter Valerie Mejer Caso and photographer Barry Shapiro) premiered in the 2016 Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Other poem-films have appeared in the MAKE Magazine Lit & Luz Festival, Seattle’s INCA (The Institute for New Connotative Action), the Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City, and the 2021 Prague Microfestival. His short film adaptation of Outgoing Vessel (Udgående Fartøj) premiered in Sophia Kalkau and Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s Ung Som Bly, a 2021 art installation at Rønnebæksholm (Denmark).
Cunningham founded Radioactive Moat Press in 2009 and its online journal Deluge in 2012. During that time, he published handmade chapbooks with silkscreened covers by poets including Feng Sun Chen, Ji Yoon Lee, Carrie Lorig, and others. With Jake Syersak, he co-edits the micro-press Radioactive Cloud and continues to publish handmade poetry chapbooks. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, an M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and he is an invited member of the International Network for Comparative Studies (INCH), co-funded by Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame.