Triple Canopy and Dalkey Archive Press present an afternoon of failure to celebrate the release of The Review of Contemporary Fiction's "Failure" issue, guest-edited by Joshua Cohen and available here. The program will include attempted readings from the issue by Eileen Myles, Helen DeWitt, Sam Frank, Travis Jeppesen, and Keith Gessen; a malfunctioning tribute to the classics of American literature by the theater group Elevator Repair Service; mangled covers of pop songs by US Girls; and an effort by Derek Lucci to resurrect William Gaddis.

  • Joshua Cohen was born in New Jersey in 1980. He is the author of seven books, including Book of Numbers: A Novel, forthcoming in June.
  • Eileen Myles 's Inferno (a poet's novel) is just out from OR books. For the essay collection The Importance of Being Iceland (2009), she received a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant. Sorry, Tree (2007) is her most recent book of poems. In 2010, the Poetry Society of America awarded her the Shelley Prize.
  • Helen DeWitt is author of The Last Samurai (2000) and, with Ilya Gridneff, coauthor of Your Name Here (2007).
  • Sam Frank is a contributing editor of Triple Canopy.
  • Travis Jeppesen is a novelist, poet, and art critic based in Berlin. His books include Victims (2003), Poems I Wrote While Watching TV (2006), Wolf at the Door (2007), and a collection of art criticism, Disorientations: Art on the Margins of the "Contemporary" (2008).
  • Keith Gessen is a cofounder of n+1 and the editor of It’s No Good: Poems, Essays, Actions by Kirill Medvedev, due out from n+1 and Ugly Duckling Presse in December 2012.
  • Elevator Repair Service is a theater ensemble that was founded by director John Collins and a group of actors in 1991. At MoMA PS1, ERS presents a sneak preview of a new collaboration with installation artists Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen. They will playfully mine several of their past shows—including the acclaimed Gatz, a six-hour enactment of The Great Gatsby—and reimagine the material as it falls apart and reforms itself into unexpected new scenes. The work will feature Mike Iveson Jr., Vin Knight, Scott Shepherd, Susie Sokol, Victoria Vazquez, and Ben Williams.
  • US Girls (Meg Remy) has released two albums, Introducing and Go Grey, both on Siltbreeze, and singles and CD-Rs on Chocolate Monk, Not Not Fun, Hardscrabble Amateurs, Cherry Burger, and Atelier Ciseaux.
  • William Gaddis (1922-1998) was the author of five novels, two of which won National Book Awards. He taught a course titled “Literature of Failure” at Bard College in 1979.
  • Derek Lucci
  • Ain Gordon
  • Jennifer Tipton
  • Reed Barrow
  • Scott Boggins
  • The Review of Contemporary Fiction was launched in 1981 to provide a critical discourse around innovative literary works of the highest caliber that have largely been ignored by the mainstream media. Over the years, the Review has provided an alternative canon for contemporary fiction and has introduced such writers as David Foster Wallace, David Markson, and Gilbert Sorrentino, well before they were embraced by the critical establishment. (Wallace served for a time as an editor of the journal, and guest-edited a “Future of Fiction” issue, in 1996.) The Review has also published numerous anthology issues dedicated to new writing from foreign countries, special issues dedicated to innovative publishers (Grove Press, Editions P.O.L), and special topic issues, including the present “Failure” issue.