Is there such a thing as a ‘poet’s novel,’ a text which uniquely traverses boundaries between genres? Why do poets turn to prose? If such a form does exist, how is it characterized? The Poet’s Novel, a talk by Laynie Browne, presented with drawings by Noah Saterstrom, examines this erratic, hybrid and often elusive form. Writers discussed include Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, and Lydia Davis, among others. Poet and novelist Laynie Browne is also the editor of a companion collection of essays, A Forest on Many Stems: Essays on the Poet’s Novel.
Laynie Browne is the author of thirteen collections of poems and three novels. Recent books include In Garments Worn by Lindens, Periodic Companions, and The Book of Moments. Her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese and Catalan. She co-edited the anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women (Les Figues Press, 2013) and edited the anthology A Forest on Many Stems: The Poet’s Novel (Nightboat Books 2020). Honors and awards include a Pew Fellowship (2014) the National Poetry Series Award (2007) for her collection The Scented Fox, and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award (2005) for her collection Drawing of a Swan Before Memory. Recent collaborations include a public art project, “Dawn Chorus” a curated constellation of poetry in thirteen languages by twenty-eight writers engraved in The Rail Park in Philadelphia with visual artist Brent Wahl. She teaches at University of Pennsylvania and at Swarthmore College.
Noah Saterstrom was raised in Mississippi and educated at Scotland’s Glasgow School of Art. His paintings reside in public and private collections in the US and abroad. He has collaborated with writers including Laynie Browne, Anne Waldman, Joan Fiset, and Kate Bernheimer. He has published art-related essays and articles and was a regular contributor to Nashville Arts Magazine. His painting “Road to Shubuta” was acquired by the Mississippi Museum of Art in 2018 and his painting “Maeve” is the cover of Ann Patchett’s newest book, The Dutch House (Harper Collins, 2019).