The Experimental Literature Cook Off

An informal session for experimental writers modeled on the idea of a chili cook off

The Public School in Durham. Duke University. 2011.

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The Experimental Literature Cook Off

We’ve all read literature in the usual forms. These forms include poems, short stories, novellas, plays and novels… but for most of us, that’s it! What other literary forms can be written? What else is out there?

That was the question posed at a recent writing workshop, or “cook off” hosted by The Public School in Durham. “The Experimental Literature Cook Off” was held on April 30, 2011 at 2:30pm, at SplatSpace in Durham, North Carolina. Participants included writers, scholars, musicians and visual artists, all of whom were interested in experimenting with literary form.

The main idea was that you could think of a work of literature as the product of a recipe. With that idea in mind, we held a “cook off” where we found or created out own recipes, tried them out, compared them and talked about what “tastes good”.

Along the way, we sampled from other cookbooks, including the constraint-based writings by the Oulipo, the “scores” created by Fluxus artists,conceptual writing, flarf, experimental writers like italio calvino, vito accioni, etc.

The reading list associated with this will has a ton of stuff. No need to read it all. Just look at whatever seems interesting to you.