&NOW 2018, & Whenever It's Needed

Location: University of Notre Dame

&Now is a biennial literary festival known for presenting innovative writing, thinking about writing, and interdisciplinary explorations such as new poetics, performances, narrative, critical, electronic and multimedia projects. In addition to presenting new work, its book fair, panels and readings foster conversation about past, present, and future literary concerns and movements.


“What was great about the fifties is that for one brief moment—maybe, say, six weeks—nobody understood art.  That’s why it all happened.”

                        —Morton Feldman

Flash forward: 2018. No one knows what writing as an art is today and that’s what makes it exciting. &Now is a biennial literary festival known for exploring the possibilities of writing as an art form. It brings together poets and novelists, fiction authors, artists, critics, musicians, programmers, performers and creators of visual, found, electronic, multimedia and other hybrid forms in a celebration of alternative writing, readings, panels, and other performances of cutting-edge writing practices. &NOW asks: what happens when writing crosses boundaries, when new artistic forms, when text, when visual art, when music, when filmmaking, when performance, when critical theory, when tongues, when the graphic novel, when a poem, when a play, when experiments, when concrete poetry, when literary collage, when performance scores, when sound and visual poetry, when poet’s theater, when hyper-opera, when conceptual writing, when theory-fiction, when philosophy, when electronic and multimedia scripts, when live film narration, when ghostcatching, when cutting and scratching, when installation, when bilingual, when supertitling, when a notepad, when spirit-writing, when a soundbite, when a webpage, when a ritual, when a bio, when re-verb, when a tag, when trance, when a confession, when a protest, when today….

That is, anyone who steps away from the bestseller lists can see that the literary landscape beyond its commercial walls is just as wild as that of the visual arts, just as varied, just as conceptual:  novels in the form of a diorama; narratives told as a series of FaceBook pages, tweets, or crowd-sourced across multiple social-media platforms; stories told as recipes, poems in skywriting or genetic code, pixels, skin—as well as print and sound—carriers of language with the strangeness authors have always given ordinary speech in order to transform it into art. 

Now in its fifteenth year, &Now 2018 is the latest iteration of a festival that travels to a different region every two years, and has been hosted in the past by: the University of Notre Dame (2004), Lake Forest College (2006), Chapman University (2007), the University at Buffalo (2009), UC San Diego (2011), Université de la Sorbonne, Paris (2012), the University of Colorado at Boulder (2013), California Institute of the Arts (2015), University of Notre Dame (2018).

Past feature readers have included: M. NourbeSe Philip, Lydia Davis, William Gass, Shelly Jackson, Ishmael Reed, Nathaniel Mackey, Lynne Tillman, Percival Everett, Robert Coover….

Most of all, &NOW is you: the authors, readers, performers, and other creators who will come together for two days of shared experience. In addition to readings by authors, panels and performances, &NOW seeks to foster conversation about the past, present, and future of literature.


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