Belgum, Erik 1960-

views updated

Belgum, Erik 1960-


Born 1960; married.


Office—VOYS, P.O. Box 580547, Minneapolis, MN 55458-0547. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer and creator of experimental audio fictions; coeditor, VOYS, a sound journal distributed on compact disc. Works have aired internationally on Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Deutscher Rundfunk (Germany), New American Radio (United States), Der Concertzender (The Netherlands), National Radio of Argentina, and elsewhere.



Star Fiction, Detour Press (St. Paul, MN), 1996.


Retirement Fund, Electronic Music Foundation (Albany, NY), 1996.

Retirement Fund II, Electronic Music Foundation (Albany, NY), 1998.

Blodder, Innova Recordings (St. Paul, MN), 1999.

Bad Marriage Mantra, Electronic Music Foundation (Albany, NY).

(With Raymond Federman) Take It or Leave It, Electronic Music Foundation (Albany, NY).

Strange Neonatal Cry, Innova Recordings (St. Paul, MN), 2003.

Contributor of experimental print fiction to periodicals, including Chicago Review, Asylum Annual, Avec, Central Park, and Black Ice.


Although Erik Belgum was hailed by Phillip G. Leggiere in the American Book Review as "one of the most prominent practitioners of the new radical short fiction," it is in the realm of audio fiction that Belgum has made his most important contributions to modern letters. Through his journal VOYS and his compact discs that he likes to call "ambient fiction," Minnesota-based Belgum has expanded the realm of experimental writing in directions suggested by the Germans and other cultures that use radio as a more creative medium. In an interview with Paris Transatlantic Magazine, Belgum said: "It has become clear to me that one can write for audio tape/CD, etc. as well as for the printed page—and this venue is now my primary focus. Instead of publishing in print, my writing now mainly appears through the mediums of CD, audio installation, radio broadcast, internet radio, etc."

What Belgum aims for in his audio work is an ambient sound that eschews formalism of content—or, as he put it in his Paris Transatlantic interview, "literature that you can wander into and out of without losing your sense of purpose or general focus." He achieves this effect through variations in tempo, volume, and through repetition of phrase, while interweaving imagery from conversation, police blotter, and other social venues. In an American Book Review piece on the author's Strange Neonatal Cry, Kenneth Goldsmith wrote: "Belgum's ambiance creates an absence of place, a loss of location, very much like what I assume to be the effect of the Midwestern landscape itself. … Like Ginsberg with an iced-out edge, Belgum's America is everyone's America. Today, we are all Midwesterners."

Belgum's work has aired on experimental radio stations in Europe, South America, Canada, and the United States.



American Book Review, August, 1996, Phillip G. Leggiere, review of Star Fiction, p. 22.


Bonk Festival of New Music, (September 22, 2003), "Erik Belgum."

City Pages, (June 7, 2000), "The Trickle-Up Theory."

Paris Transatlantic Review, http:/ (September, 1999), Dan Warburton, "Erik Belgum."