Melody Sumner Carnahanfiction writer, editorat Burning Books Publishing
MELODY SUMNER CARNAHAN has thirteen books in print and over fifty short works published in national and international periodicals and anthologies, including City Lights Review, At a Distance (MIT), How2, Leonardo Music Journal, THE Magazine, Rampike, Factorial (Japan), The Closets of Time (Mercury Press), What Is the Sound of Smoke (Teksteditions), The Brotherhood (NTT/ICC Tokyo, Japan), and Void California (CCA / Wattis Institute, 2016). Her collaboration with artist Michael Sumner, Twice Through the Maze, was published and exhibited in 2014-16.
Carnahan received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, working at the Center for Contemporary Music with composers Robert Ashley and Maggi Payne, and in the Book Art Program with Kathleen Walkup. At Mills, she began collaborating with composers and musicians to present her writing “off the page.” Her fiction has found form for over 25 years as intermedia creations in which she provides stories, lyrics, and prose for recordings, installations, video, film, posters, and live performance, notably the “performance novels” of Laetitia Sonami, and Morton Subotnick’s Gestures.
She has received commissions and awards from ABC Radio at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia; New American Radio; the Art Institute of Chicago; NYC’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation, and others. As a writer and editor, Carnahan has worked with many artistic innovators including John Cage, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, Joan La Barbara, Woody Vasulka, Steina, George Lakoff, Madeline Gins, and Theater Grottesco.
Her story collection One Inch Equals Twenty-Five Miles (Eric Hoffer Book Award, Legacy Fiction 2010) was performed and recorded with conduction by Dino J.A. Deane and the Out of Context improvisational ensemble and featured in Leonardo Music Journal Vol. 15, 2005.
Other composers, artists, and performers have commissioned words: including Barbara Golden, Elodie Lauten, Elizabeth King, Pamela Z, Mary Armentrout, Susan Stone, Jay Cloidt, Amy X Neuburg, Elizabeth Wiseman, Mark Weber, Patrick McFarlin, Nacha Mendez, and Evangel King in works released from Burning Books, Tellus, NonesuchElectra, 4 Tay Records, Mode Records, Tanuki Records, Zerx Records, Frog Peak Music, and most recently on the fo’c’sle label.
The most musical prose since Gertrude Stein. —The Village Voice
No other writer since e. e. cummings has inspired such a wealth of innovative music. — A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes