Thalia L. Field Director of Provost Office Initiative on Interdisciplanary Masters of Fine Arts Degrees, Professor of Literary Arts

Thalia Field's most recent novel is EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS (A Reality Fiction) from Solid Objects Press. Thalia Field also has three books published with New Directions: POINT AND LINE (2000) and INCARNATE: STORY MATERIAL (2004) and BIRD LOVERS, BACKYARD. A performance novel, ULULU (CLOWN SHRAPNEL) was published by Coffee House press in 2008, with film stills by Bill Morrison, and a hybrid essay/poem co-authored with French writer Abigail Lang, A PRANK OF GEORGES, was published by Essay Press. Thalia's writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Chicago Review, Ploughshares, Fence, Theater, Central Park, Chain, and Conjunctions, where she served as editor and senior editor from 1995-1999. Performance works and plays include THE POMPEII EXHIBIT, composed by Toshiro Saruya, which was awarded an NEA commission grant in 1992, and HEY-STOP-THAT which was published in Theater magazine and produced at various US venues.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS (A Reality Fiction) Solid Objects Press, NY

BIRD LOVERS, BACKYARD New Directions Publishing Corp, NY


(Coffee House Press)


POINT AND LINE (New Directions)


research overview

Thalia Field works in interdisciplinary arts extending experimental fiction and poetry to multi-media and experimental performance. She has particular interests in ecology and environmental poetics, Buddhist poetics and philosophy, as well as history of science and art.

research statement

EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS (A Reality Fiction), a book-length essay/fiction epic takes as its starting point, the life and work of French physiologist Claude Bernard, his wife Fanny and their children, and a handful of historical characters from 2nd Empire and 3eme Republic Paris. Combining historical and imaginative work, the book explores the origins of the "laboratory" and "experimental medicine" as they came to define science and fueled aesthetic thought in the modern period.

POINT AND LINE (New Directions, 2000) is a collection of experimental prose, poetry, and drama, exploring the nature of language as it is used to identify characters and dramatic events. Combining a multitude of different "discourse fields" each piece creates a linguistic frame in which the impossibility and failure of "self" is dramatized. Pieces in the collection can be considered prose, poetry, lyric essay, or drama.

INCARNATE:STORY MATERIAL (New Directions, 2004) collects a series of poetic, dramatic, and lyric essay works, each formally distinct and concerned with the ways in which being embodied, framed, named, and attached to "biography" serves to trouble narratives and language. More formally amorphous than the first collection, this book moves freely between birth, death, cartography, and issues of survival which move far beyond the human in scale.

ULULU (Clown Shrapnel) is a full-length experimental novel, almost a "performance," which dramatizes the character "Lulu" -- from Wedekind's Erdgeist plays and Berg's opera -- to trace the history of the archetype as it winds through the cultural history of Europe in the nineteenth/early twentieth century. Focusing on the movement from commedia to clowning, the book also fragments biography and history into shards and shreds of a thousand-and-one lies and secret stories.

A PRANK OF GEORGES, co-authored with French writer Abigail Lang, is a lyric essay exploring Gertrude Stein's use of proper names, and philosophical fun with the conflict between individual identity and group thinking.