Miranda July (born February 15, 1974) is a performance artist, musician, writer, actress and film director. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, after having lived for many years in Portland, Oregon. Born Miranda Jennifer Grossinger,[1] she works under the surname of "July," which can be traced to a character from a "girlzine" Miranda created with a high school friend called "Snarla".[2]

Background Edit

Miranda July was born in Barre, Vermont, the daughter of Lindy Hough and Richard Grossinger. Her parents, who taught at Goddard College at the time, are both writers.[3] In 1974 they founded North Atlantic Books, a publisher of alternative health, martial arts, and spiritual titles.[4] Miranda was encouraged to work on her short fiction by author and friend of a friend, Rick Moody.[5]

Miranda grew up in Berkeley, California, where she first began writing plays and staging them at the all-ages club 924 Gilman. She later attended UC Santa Cruz, dropping out in her sophomore year.[6] After leaving college, she moved to Portland, Oregon and took up performance art. Her performances were successful; she has been quoted as saying she has not worked a day job since she was 23 years old.[7]



Filmmaker Magazine rated her number one in their "25 New Faces of Indie Film" in 2004. After winning a slot in a Sundance workshop, she developed her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which opened in 2005. The film won The Caméra d'Or prize in The Cannes Festival 2005.[8]

Beginning in 1996, while residing in Portland, July began a project called Joanie4Jackie (originally called "Big Miss Moviola")[9] which solicited short films by women, which she compiled onto video cassettes, using the theme of a chain letter. She then sent the cassette to the participants, and to subscribers to the series, and offered them for sale to others interested. In addition to the chain letter series, July began a second series called the Co-Star Series, in which she invited friends from larger cities to select a group of films outside of the chain letter submissions. The curators included Miranda July, Rita Gonzalez, and Astria Suparak. The Joanie4Jackie series also screened at film festivals and DIY movie events. So far, thirteen editions have been released, the latest in 2002.

At her speaking engagement at the Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco's Mission District on May 16, 2007, July mentioned that she is currently working on a new film.


She recorded her first EP for Kill Rock Stars in 1996, entitled Margie Ruskie Stops Time, with music by The Need. After that, she released two more full-length LPs, 10 Million Hours A Mile in 1997 and Binet-Simon Test in 1998, both released on Kill Rock Stars. In 1999 she made a split EP with IQU, released on K Records.


In 1998, July made her first full-length multimedia performance piece, Love Diamond, in collaboration with composer Zac Love and with help from artist Jamie Isenstein; she called it a "live movie." She performed it at venues around the country, including the New York Video Festival, The Kitchen, and Yo-yo a Go-go in Olympia. She created her next major full-length performance piece, The Swan Tool, in 2000, also in collaboration with Love, with digital production work by Mitsu Hadeishi. She performed this piece in venues around the world, including the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

In 2006, after completing her first feature film, she went on to create another multimedia piece, Things We Don’t Understand and Definitely are Not Going To Talk About, which she performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.[10]

Her short story The Boy from Lam Kien was published in 2005 by Cloverfield Press, as a special-edition book with illustration by Elinor Nissley and Emma Hedditch. Her next story, Something That Needs Nothing, was published in the September 18, 2006 issue of the New Yorker magazine. No One Belongs Here More Than You is a 224-page collection of her stories which was released on May 15, 2007. It won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award on September 24, 2007.[11]

July is also the founder of the online arts community Learning to Love You More, founded with Harrell Fletcher and Yuri Ono. Established in 2002 the site provides assignments for amateur artists to complete and submit to take part in the communal arts project. Interview with Yuri Ono can be found at InDigest Magazine. Learning to Love You More also released a book of the online art in 2007.


July dated Radio Sloan from the Need when she first moved to Portland. She went on to date K Records founder Calvin Johnson.[12] As of September 2005, July is dating artist/film director Mike Mills.[13]

Johanna Fateman, of the post-punk band Le Tigre, has referred to July as being her "best friend from high school".[14]

In a 2007 interview with Bust magazine, July spoke of the importance which feminism has had in her life, saying, "What's confusing about [being a feminist]? It's just being pro-your ability to do what you need to do. It doesn't mean you don't love your boyfriend or whatever...When I say 'feminist', I mean that in the most complex, interesting, exciting way!"




  • The Boy from Lam Kien (July 1, 2005) (Cloverfield Press)
  • No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories (May 15, 2007) (Charles Scribner's Sons)
  • Learning to Love You More (with Harrell Fletcher) (Fall/Autumn 2007) (Prestel Publishing)



  • 10 Million Hours a Mile (1997) (Kill Rock Stars)
  • The Binet-Simon Test (1998) (Kill Rock Stars)


  • Margie Ruskie Stops Time EP (1996) with music by The Need (Kill Rock Stars)
  • Girls on Dates split EP with IQU (1999) (K Records)


Short FilmsEdit

Full lengthEdit

Music videosEdit


  • Love Diamond (1998-2000)
  • The Swan Tool (2000-2002)
  • How I Learned to Draw (2002-2003)
  • Things We Don't Understand and Are Definitely Not Going to Talk About (2006–Present)



  1. Morris, Wesley (2005-06-26). Putting all they know to work. The Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2007-08-11.
  2. A.O., Scott (2007-06-19). Hollywood Can Wait. New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  3. The Miranda July Story. Underground Literary Alliance. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  4. North Atlantic Books. North Atlantic Books.
  5. Ashman, Angela (2007-05-08). You and Her and Everything She Knows.. The Village Voice. “It was author Rick Moody, a "family friend of a friend," who encouraged July to write. But Moody takes little credit for her success. He envies July's dialogue, a skill he attributes to her training as an actress and ability to mimic anyone. "She's completely intuitive," he says. "There are no schools of writing working themselves out in her. No history of literature. She just does what she does, and as a result she's a complete original."
    “Case in point: When she recently spent time at the famous Yaddo artists' retreat, July felt somewhat out of her element when the conversation turned to writing in first, second, or third person. "Someone asked me, 'What person are you writing in?'" she recalls. "And I had no idea." If you're wondering, the stories are in the first person, a habit from her performance art.”
  6. A moment with performance artist/filmmaker Miranda July. (2005-05-30). Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  7. Performance artist's new role -- film director. San Francisco Chronicle (2005-06-29). Retrieved on 2006-04-11.
  8. Cannes 2005: The Winners. (2005-05-21). Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  9. Everything About Some Kind of Loving. Retrieved on 2007-08-11.
  10. MIRANDA JULY: performances. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  11. Award-winning film-maker scoops short story prize. (2007-09-24). Retrieved on 2007-09-24.
  12. Miranda July. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  13. Musto, Michael (2005-09-26). La Dolce Musto. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  14. Fateman, Johanna. My Herstory. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  15. Get Up: Sleater-Kinney's last show: A retrospective. (2006-08-28). Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.
  16. Video: Blonde Redhead: "Top Ranking". (2007-05-24). Archived from the original on 2007-07-24. Retrieved on 2007-08-08.

External links Edit

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