Welcome! This website is designed to be an online supplement and companion to our physical book, Experimental Writing: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury Academic, 2024).

In the book we elucidate nine emerging genres of creative writing, which you can find here in the menu. The book offers detailed chapters that discuss each emerging genre, along with historical precursors, discussion questions, writing prompts, references, and an anthology of example texts. While we were able to include over 30 example texts in our book’s anthology, the limitations of space, resources, and permissions constrained the range of texts we could provide.

Moreover, with many emerging genres, important touchstone texts require online technology or are more suitable for a web-based interface. This is especially true for Digital Writing and Performance–such genres are much harder to capture in a print book than through videos, hypertexts, and multimedia works. Likewise, for Handicrafting, we can provide more images of works than we could in the print-based book, coming closer if not quite capturing the hands-on feel and haptic sense of manipulating the physical objects themselves.

In this website, for each emerging genre we offer a brief definition and have assembled links to example texts. We wanted to include more examples than in the book even for emerging genres that are (relatively) well-covered in the print anthology. Experimental writing is far more varied and diverse than even this expanded representation, however. We believe the best way to understand experimental writing is to read it and immerse yourself in it, after all. This is just by way of getting started.     

As we note in our book, we caution you to PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. Take this as a blanket trigger warning. Experimental writing engages in inherently incendiary materials, explosive feelings, dangerous actions. It is not generally for the faint of heart. Likewise, there is much material in what follows that is suitable for a mature audience. If you peruse these links, you may find yourself shocked, offended, disgusted, aghast, discomfited, flummoxed, bored, frustrated, and appalled. These affective responses go with the territory; to sugarcoat experimental writing–rendering our anthology entirely warm, fuzzy, and approachable–would be to vastly misrepresent the subject. Experimental writing is risky. Remember, though, nobody is forcing you to read these items; if you feel traumatized or upset, then you have the ability to close your browser and stop reading.       

This online companion to our textbook not only allows a supplemental anthology for students, teachers, and writers to explore, but also provides other resources: links to experimental publishers and journals, creative writing institutions, and resources for teachers, students, and readers of the book. We felt it was important to situate experimental writing in a wider social context. In some cases, this context could be background in philosophy, theory, and literary criticism; in other cases, it could be aggregate sites like Ubuweb that have already curated a wide range of avant-garde texts.

This website also provides teachers with more resources to flesh out a course; we encourage allowing students to choose deeper, more personalized explorations of given topics. Our list of publishers will interest both those who are looking for more to read and those who wish to submit work themselves. Most of the institutions linked here are national or international in scope; it’s important to consider the institutional forces at play in shaping experimental literature. Note that none of these lists or links attempt to be comprehensive.

We also recommend that you seek out local institutions yourself, and become involved in your community: find small presses, slams, performances, book festivals, libraries, museums, and other literary institutions near you which you can join, whether as a volunteer or participant.

Will Cordeiro won the Able Muse Book Award for Trap Street (2021) and has work published in AGNI, Bennington Review, and The Threepenny Review. Will received an MFA and Ph.D. from Cornell University, co-founded the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective, and is currently the co-editor of the small press Eggtooth Editions.

Lawrence Lenhart is an Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University. His essay collections include The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage (2016), Backvalley Ferrets: A Rewilding of the Colorado Plateau (2023), and Dry, Safe & Together (2024). With Will Cordeiro, he is the co-librettist and composer of the experimental rock opera, Pop Goes the Ferret! Lenhart is the reviews editor at DIAGRAM and Executive Director of the Northern Arizona Book Festival.