On Marvellous Things Heard

Gretchen E. Henderson

Introduction by G.C. Waldrep and a color plate by artist Carrie Gundersdorf


Derived in form from Aristotle’s “Minor Work” of the same title, this variation of ON MARVELLOUS THINGS HEARD explores a range of literary appropriations of music, in terms of translation and metamorphosis. Part investigation, part inventory, and partinvention (in the musical sense: a composition in simple counterpoint), this poetically-driven essay assays the narrating subject as she assays the subjects of literature, of music, and of silence.

Cover art by: Caroline Picard

Design by: Caroline Picard


"A beautiful and evocative interweaving of short texts about music and language. The unexpected juxtapositions shed surprising light on this famously tangled relationship."

Joseph N. Straus, Distinguished Professor of Music, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, author of Extraordinary Measures: Disability in Music



Audio Excerpts

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About the Authors

Gretchen E. Henderson

Trained as a classical vocalist and historian, Gretchen E. Henderson's literary works engage music and the visual arts. Her first book, Galerie de Difformité, is structured as an art catalogue and received the Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer's Prize from &NOW Books (2011). Other forthcoming works include a musically-structured collection of fiction, The House Enters the Street (Starcherone Books), and a cartographic poetry chapbook, Wreckage: By Land & By Sea (Dancing Girl Press). Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have been published in a range of journals and anthologies, including The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, The Southern Review, Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, and The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing. Gretchen is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT, where she invites participation in the collaborative deformation of her Galerie de Difformité.