Our Moon Poem
Seen at the time as the apex of civilization, the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969 was heralded as a turning point for humankind. More important than the technical and political achievement it represented—a demonstration of the belief that anything was possible—the moon landing ushered in a global, ecological consciousness of earth itself as a spaceship with all humans as fellow travelers in the vast darkness of space. Our Moon Poem is a novel that considers the moon landing as a more kaleidoscopic event. Told through the monologues of some 23 characters—from the astronauts themselves to Amish farmers to hippies in the park to the NASA employees that made it possible to those watching the moon landing on TV and those ignoring the moon landing—Our Moon Poem is a multilayered collage of the American myth it would become. Along the way, it explores how national mythologies of all kinds emerge from a cloud of storytelling, vested interests, and competing claims to shape how a people comes to think of themselves. An Audio Play of this novel is now in production.
Steve Tomasula is the author of the novels Ascension (Shortlisted for Forward Reviews Best Book of the Year, 2022), The Book of Portraiture (FC2); VAS: An Opera in Flatland (University of Chicago Press), an acclaimed novel of the biotech revolution; TOC: A New-Media Novel (winner of the Mary Shelley Award for Excellence in Fiction and the E-Lit Best Book of the Year Award); and IN&OZ (University of Chicago Press).
His short fiction has been published widely in anthologies and periodicals including McSweeney’s, BOMB, and The Iowa Review (the Iowa Prize for the most distinguished work published in any genre), and is collected in his short story collection Once Human: Stories (shortlisted for an IndiFab Best Book of the Year Award). He is also the editor of Conceptualisms: The Anthology of Prose, Poetry, Visual, Found, E- & Hybrid Writing as Contemporary Art (University of Alabama Press, 2022).
Incorporating narrative forms of all kinds—from comic books, travelogues, journalism or code to Hong Kong action movies or science reports—Tomasula’s writing has been called a ‘reinvention of the novel.’ His writing often crosses visual, as well as written genres, drawing on science and the arts to take up themes of how we represent what we think we know, and how these representations shape our lives.
Recent essays on art, literature and culture can be found in Data Made Flesh (Routledge), The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature, and numerous magazines both here and in Europe.
His fiction is also the subject of cultural and literary studies, including books by David Banash, Steve Tomasula: The Art and Science of New Media Fiction; N. Katherine Hayles, How We Think; Mary Holland, Succeeding Postmodernism: Signifying Families in Late Twentieth and Twenty-First Century American Fiction; and Flore Chevaillier, Divergent Trajectories: Interviews with Innovative Fiction Writers; and her The Body of Writing: An Erotics of Contemporary American Fiction.
Born in East Chicago, he lives in the Uptown Neighborhood of Chicago. He holds a doctorate in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Homepage: www.stevetomasula.com.