Gretchen Henderson

  • Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library Fellow, 2015-16

2015-2016 Hodson Trust - John Carter Brown Fellow Gretchen E. Henderson writes across genres and the arts to invigorate her critical and creative practices. Her books include two novels, The House Enters the Street (shortlisted for the AWP Award Series) and Galerie de Difformité (winner of the Madeleine Plonsker Prize), along with a work of music criticism, On Marvellous Things Heard, and a poetry chapbook, Wreckage: By Land & By Sea. Her latest book is Ugliness: A Cultural History (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Gretchen is currently the Associate Director for Research for the Harry Random Center at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Actively involved in artistic collaborations, Gretchen’s fellowship project, “Crafting the Bonds,” is a narrative and libretto for an opera framing the survival and recovery of The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts (pseudonym for Hannah Bond): the earliest known novel written by an African American woman. The opera raises questions about the lives and afterlives of stories and will be composed by Elena Ruehr, a Guggenheim-winning composer on faculty at MIT. Gretchen’s first opera narrative and libretto,Cassandra in the Temples, also written for Elena Ruehr, premiered at MIT in 2014.