Richard Kostelanetz

About the Author
Richard Kostelanetz was born in 1940 in New York City, where he still lives. An unaffiliated writer and artist for the past thirty years, he has published many books of fiction, poetry, experimental prose, criticism, and cultural history. He has also edited over two dozen anthologies of literature, esthetics, and social thought. Kostelanetz is also well known for his pioneering efforts in literary audio- and videotape. In addition to individual fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, he has received grants from several private foundations in the United States and Germany. Recent books include Wordworks: Poems Selected and New (BOA Editions) and Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (A Cappella Books).


  • “It should be emphasized that there is a clear difference between the minimalism practiced by Carver and Barthelme and the truly radical minimalism — analogous to that devised by musicians and painters in the 1960s — of someone like Richard Kostelanetz, who since 1970 has produced a number of highly original fictions in the form of lines, numbers, one-, two-, and three-word sequences, and other severely attenuated elements.”
    — Larry McCaffery, “The Fictions of the Present,” Columbia Literary History of the United States (1988)
  • “The largest piece . . . [“More or Less”] can be read from front to back or vice-versa, as each vignette ‘has one more word than its predecessor until a limit of 64 words is finally reached and then each story has one word fewer than its predecessor.’ The theme is stark eroticism, and some of them are monstrously hilarious.”
    — Sam Prestianni, The Retriever

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