Blasting the Boundaries: Making the Novel Novel Again
Genres and categories can be helpful to some writers some of the time. A detective novelist does well to familiarize herself with the whodunit formula (insofar as one exists). A formalist poet, likewise, does well to master iambic pentameter. But what about when those guidelines begin to feel less like generative constraints than like paralyzing restraints?
This panel features three writers whose writing careers are all about exploding limitations and expectations in writing. Leanne Dunic is a multi-disciplinary artist whose book of lyric-prose, To Love the Coming End, is the sister project to a concept album of the same name. M. Thomas Gammarino writes novels that straddle literary fiction and science fiction (a hybrid sometimes called “slipstream”). Merilyn Simonds writes memoir, travel, short and long-form fiction, historical fiction and nonfiction, essays and mashups of all these and she collaborates with musicians, composers, and visual artists to create new forms. The panelists will read from their work in the context of a discussion about the form/content (false) dichotomy, how to listen closely to — and get instructions from — one’s own material, and challenges (and benefits) of producing and marketing hybridized texts.
Moderator: Sam Horn