Reif Larsen, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, in 1980. M.F.A. from Columbia University. Writer and filmmaker in Saugerties, NY.
Writer-in-Residence (1 February 2012 – 30 June 2012)
During my time at NIAS I planned on heavily editing the manuscript of my novel; I came in with my knives sharpened and my sleeves rolled up, ready to excise great swaths of text. Yet the problem with this stance was that I quickly found the environment of the Advanced Institute to be incredibly generative and resistant to excision. I could not help but be drawn into the various scholarly projects around me and soon witnessed how other Fellows’ work begin to infect my novel. After talking with the Pessoa Fellows, one of my characters developed a habit of writing under heteronyms. After lunch with a linguist, a father in the book began to record his son’s language development. And so instead of taking away, I ended up adding, enriching, deepening, and in retrospect I am incredibly pleased with this outcome. Eventually, in the quiet of my own home, I will cut and cut some more, but only after NIAS has performed its little fertile miracle on the text at hand.