The Nature Book
Coffee House Press
The Nature Book, "a magnum opus" in the words of Kirkus Reviews (starred review), collages nature descriptions from 300 canonical novels into a single novel. With the environmental background brought to the fore, human characters and objects disappear, giving center stage to the animals, landscapes, and weather patterns that have buttressed human drama since the beginning of the novel form.
The 87,000-word book tells a continuous story but also acts as an archive of how authors perceive and distort nature, covering the gamut of natural settings: all four seasons, oceans, islands, jungles, outer space, grasslands, mountain ranges, and deserts.
Above is a 360-degree glimpse of my process for composing draft 1 while at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in the summer of 2016. Below is a live recording of me performing the Prairie section with composer Lea Bertucci at The Bemis's LOW END performance space in 2020.
Here is a study for The Nature Book, which was installed in the exhibition Poetry Will Be Made By All! at LUMA/Westbau, Zürich, Switzerland in 2014. This enlarged text greeted passers-by on the street.