“The Resident Poet”
by Katherine Dunn
from the May 11, 2020 issue of The New Yorker
Katherine Dunn, best known around these parts as the author of Geek Love, died in 2016. Sadly, this was before she finished her long anticipated novel The Cut Man, which she first said she was working on back in 1989 when Geek Love was published. I remember in 2009 hearing that The Cut Man was going to be released that September, but that didn’t happen. Then in 2010 it seemed like the release was imminent when I enjoyed the excerpt that appeared in The Paris Review. I’m not sure we will ever see that book in any form.
However, it does look like we will get more from Dunn. A novel, Toad, is coming from MCD/FSG in 2021. From its description it doesn’t seem to be related at all to The Cut Man. MCG/FSG is also publishing a collection of her short stories in 2022. “The Resident Poet” is part of that collection. You can read some of the details in Deborah Treisman’s interview with Naomi Huffman here.
So here we have something we’ve never read from Katherine Dunn! I am very excited. It’s also relatively long (nearly double the length of story we’ve been getting). I still need to catch up on the last couple of stories, and I will do that, but I’m also going to start this one as soon as I am able after work today.
I hope you’re all well as time continues to move us through these stressful times. I look forward to your thoughts below!