Novel Writing Boot Camp
I'll be teaching a summer course in novel writing from June 6-30 at Lake Forest College. Click here for details.
Works in Progress
- A new English translation of Francis Ponge's Le parti pris des choses completed in collaboration with Jean-Luc Garneau, forthcoming in 2016 from Kenning Editions.
- Hannah and the Master is a poetic fiction that reimagines the scandalous romance between Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt for the age of global climate disruption. Excerpts have appeared or are forthcoming in New American Writing and The Offending Adam.
- A new full-length poetry collection, The Great Outdoors, whose title is borrowed from Quentin Meillassoux's notion of le Grand Dehors, the world our epistemologies have so much trouble touching. This idea of Meillassoux's, filtered through my fascination with the vital materialism of such thinkers as Lucretius, Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, and Alfred North Whitehead, forms the lyric terrain of the book. I am haunted by Lucretius' claim, a kind of mirror of Meillassoux's, that the gods (i.e., ideologies) hover in and around the earth but can have no actual effect on us or the universe--they are lost in an indifferent realm of their own. What is left to connect with, or to? With a mixture of satire and romanticism I've written poems that butt their heads against these limitations--unable as I am, in spite of all evidence, to sacrifice my sense of the reality of the ineffable.
- A second novel about a middle-aged American writer on the edge of nihilistic despair who leaves his wife and child behind to go on a meandering and comic journey through Dublin, Oxford, Morocco, and Spain, in pursuit of legendary spirits of art and literature, Samuel Beckett and William S. Burroughs chief among them. His story is intercut with the tale of his own parents’ romance in late 60s Manhattan: how his father, an assimilated Jewish boychik from the Chicago suburbs, met and married his mother, the acerbic and traumatized daughter of Holocaust survivors. The working title is Fountain.
- A third novel about a floating island on which the survivors of a global catastrophe live out their oddly normal lives.