September 15, 2016
Mark Z. Danielewski, Kendrick Lamar, Barack Obama, &c.
by Taylor Sperry
Further evidence has surfaced that President Barack Obama really just wants to break into the publishing business. We’ve already written about how he’ll be guest editing the November issue of Wired and chronicled the recent speculation that there may be more books from both the President and First Lady, but on top of all that, Wesleyan University Press has announced that Obama will be among the contributors to this year’s Best American Experimental Writing.
His piece will be an excerpt from “Remarks by the President at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches,” which, like other “government-produced materials,” is in the public domain — an indication of our own determination to include Obama in the canon, of course, and not his willingness to participate in it. (It’s an amusing intellectual challenge to imagine how George W. Bush might edit an issue of Wired or contribute to experimental literature.)
Though the speech is more symbolically than formally experimental, it’s still a good one. The complete text is available here.
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.