Carol Novack

Location Asheville, NC
Occupation all around gnat, writer and publisher of mad hatters' review, founder/pres non-profit MadHat Arts, curator
IM (GTalk) cnovack at gmail

Books by Carol Novack
  • by Carol Novack
    Spuyten Duyvil, 2010.
  • About Me

    I was raised in a beach hood in Queens, NY, went to University of Rochester for BA (Chinese Lit) and not long after moved to Sydney, Australia, where I was a biggish writer fish in a smallish pond - won grant and published a poetry chapbook.

    Eventually, after returning to NY, I became a criminal defense and constitutional lawyer (famous 1st Amendment win for visual artists: Bery v City of New York). Went for a third degree (MSW in community organizing)and suddenly returned to my first love, writing.

    Published my first full-length book (a collection of oddities) Sept 2010 (see link above;, which is garnering terrific feedback. I've made headway in what could be a novel called "The Fallen Bassoonist." However, that opus, as well as an unfinished novella "Beautiful Hair," are on the shelf, along with a fictional thang I'm writing with Tom Bradley. Soon to return!

    Other stuff about moi: well, it's all at http://booktour/author/31642.

    see google




    Interview with track from my CD (at cdbaby):

    Interviews & Reviews of CD:

    Interview 7/10/08:

    Interview of Moi wearing Tophat:

    Interview of Moi as alleged litblogger:

    tracks from CD Inventions II:

    readings with & without music at and many other sites.

    A few journals that have published or will publish my work: American Letters & Commentary, Action,Yes, Big Bridge, Caketrain, Fiction International, Del Sol Review, Diagram, Drunken Boat, elimae, Exquisite Corpse, Gargoyle, Journal of Experimental Fiction, Jivin' Ladybug, Knock, La Petite Zine, Mississippi Review, Necessary Fiction, Newtopia,Orphan Leaf Review, New Dead Families, Pindeldyboz, Sein und Werden, LIT, Newtopia, Notre Dame Review, Retort, Salt Flats Annual, Salt River Review, Scythe, Segue, Sein und Werden, Word Riot, 5_trope, First Intensity, Opium, Otoliths, Overland, Meanjin, Smokelong Quarterly, Tears in the Fence, Lamination Colony, Wheelhouse, Word Riot, a Romanian journal and a French journal (in translation). Anthologies include The &Now Awards: The Best Innovative Writing; Diagram III, The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets, Online Writings: The Best of the First Ten Years, and Heide Hatry: Heads and Tales.

    Why do you write?

    I get an image or concept or a few words that dance and then I let myself ride the waves. The process is magical when I can access it. Writing is what I love to do. But revising is 9/10 of the process much of the time, though not always.

    I'm not interested in writing by "story" rules and wringing emotions out of readers via sympathetic characters that make "sense." I'm neither a minimalist nor a "realist." I mainly write rhythm-driven, poetic/musical/lyrical narratives. Some call me experimental. I just write from my gut/s, both heart and mind.

    Any favorite authors? Books?

    Beckett, D. Barthelme, Rilke, Don DeLillo, early Merwin, Berryman, Roberto Bolano, Joy Williams; also, Austen, Hardy, de Maupassant, Kafka, Camus, Yeats, friends of mine who are excellent writers. Many more . . . I love the experimental, irreal, poetic, rhythmic, musical, metaphorical, dada-esque, absurd, beautifully poignant, playful, surreal and satirical.

    Carol Novack's Wall

    Larry Strattner – Jul 16, 2011

    Nice to see you back on occasion.

    eXeX – Dec 08, 2010

    Carol, I'm so glad you let me know you enjoyed my little bagatelle. It's always nice to meet lovers of Beckett - and D. Barthelme!

    Larry Strattner – Apr 02, 2010

    re Topeka.

    Beneath humor's sweet frostings reside the deepest thoughts.


    Foster Trecost – Mar 31, 2010

    Hi Carol, thanks for reading Eight States Away. Your suggestion about unneeded repetition confirmed what I was thinking, so thanks for that. foster.

    Walter Bjorkman – Mar 29, 2010

    Carol - thanks for your reading and comments on 'uptown/bowery'. I am enjoying a few of yours right now.

    David Ackley – Mar 28, 2010

    Thanks for the compliment on my latest Rowdies piece. Glad to see the Rowdies have not yet worn out their welcome.

    David Ackley – Mar 27, 2010

    Thanks for the star on The Jaws of you see, overpopularity and the attending swelled head is never going to be its problem.

    See ya – Mar 24, 2010

    Hi, Carol. I meant to say this long ago, but it's good to see you shifting around. A fine thing. Hope you're doing well.

    Susan Gibb – Mar 23, 2010

    Hi Carol,
    Thanks for the invite to the MHR but I joined last year when I joined Fictionaut as I recognized the MHR as a high quality stable mag!

    Doug Bond – Mar 22, 2010

    Edna, whoever and wherever she is, is the balls! What issue of Yankee Pot Roast can we find her in? And re: Lily Tomlin...saw
    Search for Signs of Intelligent Life...twice in New York and then again when she did it in San Francisco. She's the best!

    David Ackley – Mar 17, 2010

    Delighted to have you take a look, Carol, spring away. Irrespective, I did like your piece. I've a friend, Robert Grenier, who's sometimes lumped in with the "Language" Poets--which he grudgingly allows. Anyway, I've read a lot of his work, which has possible affinities of concern/interest with what you say above in "Why I write".

    Finnegan Flawnt – Jan 11, 2010

    fascinating bio, carol, enjoyed reading it. a friend, boudreau freret, is a lawyer also. that quite possibly being our only current point of liaison, but howdy nevertheless!

    Morgan Harlow – Dec 26, 2009

    it just occurred to me that Leonora Carrington's work may not be easy to find. I read her novel, The Hearing Trumpet, back in the 1970s. Here's a recent interview with her

    Mel Bosworth – Nov 09, 2009

    Ha! All better now, Carol.

    Mel Bosworth – Nov 08, 2009

    say what? don't confuse me. i confuse easily.

    A – Oct 30, 2009

    If we can resolve our beige differences, I think we'll be on to something literary.

    Zack Wentz – Sep 30, 2009

    Hola, Carol!

    Beth Couture – Sep 26, 2009

    Thanks for the invite, lady!

    Ann Bogle – Aug 31, 2009

    A gerund takes the possessive pronoun, you're right. My high school was ranked 6th in the country, and I didn't learn that gerunds take the possessive pronoun. I learned Latin and German there, too, and remember thinking that English had a level of difficulty of 1 or 2 by comparison to German's 3 or 4 and Latin's 5. Been reading a little Gary Lutz this week, an essay he wrote about the sentence, and get the feeling he taught himself English as an acquired language and works it like clay.

    M.H. – Aug 01, 2009

    You're welcome Carol - I see you grew up on Long Island and went to University of Rochester - I grew up in New Rochelle and also went to U of R for grad school. Good luck with your story!

    Lancillotto Bellini – Jul 21, 2009

    Hello Carol,
    it's so nice to see you here...
    Have a nice evening...

    Samuel Brase – Jun 03, 2009

    thanks for the comment on The Convert! I do have a habit of putting a little too much out there, leaving little for the reader to conclude themselves. ambiguity is my biggest blind spot -- I just like everyone being on the same page. sigh.

    ramble ramble stop -- thanks!

    Stephen Stark – May 29, 2009

    Unless it's Silly-Love or Subliminal-Love. I love that word, subliminal, especially when I can spell it without tripping over my fingers.

    Stephen Stark – May 29, 2009

    You're very welcome. I'd have to say that I didn't think they were silly at all. But then I guess you can't call them 3 Sublime Stories. Cheers,


    Larry Strattner – May 29, 2009

    Carol. It was not until later that I thought to myself, "Oh. THAT Carol."
    After I posted on your three silly stories (which I by the way enjoyed every one of) I wiseacrely remarked I'd have to google Kazbegi. Well I did and Holy Crap Batwoman! What a beautiful place. How does anyone know of such a place? The Mountain House there has a slide show on line that is breathtaking. Of course behind every picture you can see the vicious winter. But nevermind. I'll remind myself not to be a smartass in future, at least before I know the lay of the land.

    David Erlewine – May 27, 2009

    Thanks for your kind note, Carol.

    Gary Percesepe – May 23, 2009

    yep, you succeeded--funny as hell--

    and we have some stuff in common--both nyers, plus i did community organizing (still do), working on local issues of justice and fairness, started justice orgs, also did peace organizing, and etc

    Michelle Tandoc – May 22, 2009

    Hey, Carol! Nice to see you here too. :)

    Forrest Roth – May 20, 2009

    Right back at ya, Carol-- an overdue welcome. And many thanks for the review at MHR too.

    Brandon Hobson – May 09, 2009

    Hey Carol!

    Heather Fowler – Apr 16, 2009

    Hi Carol,

    I'll look forward to chatting more when you get back and checking out more of your work! Really enjoyed your piece. :) xo, H

    Darryl Price – Apr 13, 2009

    It's simply not true that no one has written on Carol Novack's wall. I very much liked that your favorite writers included "friends of mine who are excellent writers." Now that's class.Also LOVED New Yoik New Yoik.Cool. Welcome aboard.

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