Featured Writer #58: Anthony Michael Morena

Anthony Michael Morena


Music and Pictures: A Selection from The Voyager Record: A Transmission


We here at Ninth Letter are proud to be able to feature excerpts from Anthony Michael Morena’s The Voyager Record: A Transmission. Morena has pulled off something of a small miracle here, combining the forms of flash fiction and prose poetry to deliver a portrait of how in 1977 the U.S. space program developed a wildly ambitious phonograph record to accompany the two Voyager spacecrafts. Meant to represent the planet Earth to any curious aliens lurking in the cosmos, the gold plated record contained 27 songs (including three musical pieces by Bach and "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry!), 118 images, and greetings in 55 languages. In 155 short pages, Morena takes us into the complicated and sometimes hilarious politics of what to include and what to leave out on the "Golden Record," project leader Carl Sagan’s complicated love life at the time, heartfelt appreciations of some of the record's selected songs, and imagined encounters between the spacecrafts and unimaginable aliens. The Voyager Record is a witty work of history and autobiography, musicology, astrophysics and sci-fi, political maneuvering and unlikely romance, a delicate balancing act that Morena gets just right.

—Philip Graham





Anthony Michael Morena is a writer from New York who lives in Tel Aviv. In 2015 he received his MA in creative writing from Bar-Ilan University. His poetry and prose have appeared or will soon in The Normal School, Ninth Letter, Flapperhouse, and Queen Mob’s Tea House. He has also been a guest editor for The Ilanot Review and a regular reader for Gigantic Sequins, a good-looking, biannual, black & white literary arts journal. The Voyager Record: A Transmission (Rose Metal Press 2016) is his first book.


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