&Now is biennial traveling literary festival and a publishing organization both focused on innovative literature. The festival’s main emphasis is on work that blends or crosses genres, and includes a wide variety of work, such as multimedia projects, performance pieces, criti-fictional presentations, and otherwise. According to the website's description, the festival seeks out "literary art as it is practiced today by authors who consciously treat their work as a process that is aware of its own literary and extra-literary history, that is as much about its form and materials, language, communities, and practice as it is about its subject matter." Most of the work presented by authors is considered experimental literature.
The next &Now festival is scheduled to take place at the University of Colorado at Boulder in September, 2013.
Most of the presentations are readings and panels focused on literature. The main population in attendance is made up of writers, performers and intermedia artists, alongside undergraduate and graduate student writers and scholars doing research on contemporary literatures. So far, most participants visit from the US, Mexico, and Northern Europe.
Members of the Executive Board are currently Dimitri Anastasopoulos, Sylvie Bauer, Amina Cain, Antoine Cazé, Jeffrey DeShell, Rebecca Goodman, Christina Milletti, Martin Nakell, Davis Schneiderman Co-Director: &Now Books, Elisabeth Sheffield, Anna Joy Springer, Anne-Laure Tissut, and Steve Tomasula, Conference Founder.
History of the festival
University of Notre Dame
The &Now Conference of Innovative Writing & the Literary Arts was founded in 2004 at the University of Notre Dame by Steve Tomasula, and featured such keynote speakers as Stephanie Strickland, Lydia Davis, and Debra Di Blasi.
Lake Forest College
In April, 2008, the festival was held at Chapman University. The featured speakers at this festival included Steve Katz, Stacey Levine, Wendy Walker, Tom Lafarge, Ishmael Reed, FC2 Flash Reading, Steve Tomasula, and David Antin.
The University at Buffalo
The festival was hosted at University at Buffalo in October 2009, and was the first festival to be hosted annually. Notable contributors included Rikki Ducornet, Percival Everett, Nathaniel Mackey, and Jorge Volpi.
The University of California at San Diego
The University of California at San Diego hosted the fifth &Now Festival in October, 2011. The featured speakers included Rae Armantrout, Ricardo Domínguez, Cathy Gere, Bhanu Kapil, Carole Maso, Miranda Mellis, Vanessa Place, V.S. Ramachandran, Connie Samaras, Davis Schneiderman, Roberto Tejada, and Steve Tomasula.
The University of Paris
&NOW Books, an imprint of Lake Forest College, was founded in 2004 by Steve Tomasula and serves as the publishing arm of the &Now Festival. &NOW Books released its first anthology, "The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing," in 2009, and Volume II of the awards is set to be released in October 2012. &NOW Books also publishes the first books of all of the winners of The Madeline P. Plonsker Emerging Writer's Residency Prize.
- Khan, Madeeha. "&NOW 2012 | New Writing in Paris: Exchanges and Cross-Fertilizations". &NOW 2012. &Now. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Wittig, Rob. "&Now Conference Review". Writing Under Constraint. Electronic Book Review. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Madera, John. "&Now Conference: A Conference of Innovate Writing & the Literary Arts". Big Other. Big Other. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Messinger, Jonathon. "Finnegan's quake". Time-Out Chicago. Time Out Chicago Partners LLLP. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- "&Now Books". Lake Forest College English Department. Lake Forest College. Retrieved 29 June 2012.