author of Loudermilk: Or, The Real Poet; Or, The Origin of the World
in conversation with Ada Smailbegović
Co-sponsored by the Brown University Literary Arts MFA Program
It’s the end of summer, 2003. George W. Bush has recently declared the mission in Iraq accomplished, the unemployment rate is at its highest in years, and Martha Stewart has just been indicted for insider trading. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Midwest, Troy Augustus Loudermilk (fair-haired, statuesque, charismatic) and his companion Harry Rego (definitely none of those things) step out of a silver Land Cruiser and onto the campus of The Seminars, America’s most prestigious creative writing program, to which Loudermilk has recently been accepted for his excellence in poetry.
Loudermilk, however, has never written a poem in his life.
Wickedly entertaining, beguiling, layered, and sly, Loudermilk is a social novel for our time: a comedy of errors that deftly examines class, gender, and inheritance, and subverts our pieties about literature, authorship, art-making, and the institutions that sustain them.
Lucy Ives is the author of the novel Impossible Views of the World, published by Penguin Press and selected as a New York Times Editors' Choice. Her writing has appeared in Art in America, Artforum, the Baffler, frieze, Lapham's Quarterly, and Vogue, among other publications. For five years she was an editor with the online magazine Triple Canopy. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University. She currently teaches in the Image Text interdisciplinary MFA program at Ithaca College, as well as at NYU’s Center for Experimental Humanities. She is the recipient of a 2018 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.
Ada Smailbegović is an assistant professor of English at Brown University. Her writing explores relations between poetics, nonhuman forms of materiality, histories of description, and the natural sciences. She is a cofounder of The Organism for Poetic Research. Her articles and poetic work have included “From Code to Shape” (differences, 2018), The Forest / On Waiting (Doublecross Press, 2017), “Cloud Writing” (in Art in the Anthropocene, 2015), and most recently an article on animals in Gertrude Stein’s work “Of Poodles, Mockingbirds and Beetles: Gertrude Stein’s Zoopoetics.” She has recently completed a book on poetry and science titled Soft Matter of Molecules, Fibers, Tissues, Clouds: Poetics of Liveliness.