Natalie Mesnard


natalie mesnard


I like games.

I am a literary novelist, game designer, and poet interested in human expression through games, puzzles, mathematics and new technology.

My education (B.S. in Mathematics, Virginia Commonwealth University; M.F.A. in Creative Writing, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) reflects my lifelong interest in art at the intersection of the poetic and the technical.

Also a citizen of the contemporary literary world, I have edited for the literary magazines Ninth Letter, Memorious, A Public Space, and One Story, and advocate for independent publishing as Communications Manager at the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, CLMP, in New York City. 


My Writing

A poem is a chance encounter between a writer and her audience. Sometimes the two intertwine, but we can’t know exactly why or for how long. The reaction is only something you can half-control.
I will take a long series of lovers who fit the pattern of my life like Fibonacci numbers. My entanglements will bore you in their repetition, becoming a collection of bangles assembled from flesh and amputated dreams.

My published work includes short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and interviews. Currently at work on a speculative near-future literary science fiction novel, I strive to communicate with both general and literary audiences. 

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My Games

A crew of idealistic pirates sets sail for liberty, fraternity, and treasure! Tired of tyrannical captains, long working hours, and short rations, they’ve decided to experiment with a trust-based economy and elected representatives...

I design games in collaboration with my partner, Patrick D. Watson, as Oat & Noodle Studios. Our games encourage everyone to treat life as play: they break the fourth wall, employ mechanics as a means to self-expression, and seek to include and entertain players of all ages and backgrounds.


DemocraSea, our board game for aspiring politician-pirates, won the Craft, Theme, and Marketability awards for CUDO Plays Season 3, and was an Official Selection for IndieCade 2016. DemocraSea is forthcoming in 2018 from Game Salute.