Blog Categories
  • Visit our Indiegogo campaign!

  • Support the IAF!

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation needs your support. Click here to donate and become a Friend of the IAF!

  • @InterstitialArt

  • About the IAF

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

  • Latest IAF News

    IAF INTERFICTIONS ONLINE INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN ends above target goal

    Thanks to 277 generous backers for our Interfictions Indiegogo Campaign, we raised $10,318 by the time our campaign ended at midnight, July 14th, 2014.  When we launched on June 3rd, we were staggered to find donations doubling almost daily, until after about 3 weeks we had reached our original target goal of $8,500, and were able to move on to our Stretch Goal of $10,000.

    Which means we not only get to publish Interfictions Online for another year, but we can pay our contributors at higher rates now, rates more in line with the effort and talent that innovation requires. Thank you, each and every one of the 277 generous donors who stepped forward to say that interstitial art is valued and valuable. The number of people is as important as the number of dollars raised. We are awed by your generosity.
    Now [...]

    INTERFICTIONS issue #3 is up online!

    The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal’s latest issue, on May 22, 2014!

    The Spring 2014 issue’s non-fiction offerings include Mark Craddock’s poignant collage in Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide, while Inda Lauryn’s Parallels and Transitions splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga speaks for itself. And in an interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook.

    The fiction offerings remix tropes from ghosts to automata, with new work by Richard Butner, Su-Yee Lin, Kat Howard, Tade Thompson and S. Craig Renfroe Jr.

    Several of the poems in this issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s AI Winter draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s Double Business on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s Hypothesis Between Your Ribs on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter.

    [...]

  • Featured IAF News

  • Events

    Interstitial Indy

    Sunday, Nov. 25

    Interstitial Indy

    7-11PM
    Indiana Writers’ Center
    812 E 67th Street
    Indianapolis, IN
    (off College Ave. just behind The Indianapolis Art Center in the Cultural Complex Building)

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

  • Cross-Binding Text and Form: The Interstitial Seams of Chapbooks
    by mallen | March 30th, 2011 |

    (Eds. note: Interstitial March continues as guest blogger A. M. Kerstetter brings us this report on the third annual Chapbook Festival at City University of New York Graduate Center, where attendees discussed the role chapbooks play in blending literature and art.)

    Literature or art? Product or process, private or public? Fiction, poetry, or fragmentary sparks of wisdom so brief and fleeting they would almost certainly fall through the cracks of the modern market—were it not for the growing web of chapbook advocates, a contingent of whom were represented at this year’s third annual Chapbook Festival held the first week of this month at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

    Is the chapbook merely a charming medium for poetry? What can the chapbook do for fiction, nonfiction, and drama? Are the publications only for experimental texts? How are they expanding the definition of each genre as well as cross-genre expectations?

    These questions and more were the focus of the festival that recently drew a wide array of poets, book artists, and “inbetweeners” to display and discuss their perception of the chapbook as a growing presence in the world of art and literature. Appropriately coinciding with our own interstitial month of March, the festival was an inspiring exhibition of a genre and form that by its very nature defies conventional categorization. As the opening questions suggest, the chapbook is no mere easy outlet for vanity press, but rather a Pandora’s Box of subject and form. From early political and ecumenical pamphlets to fine-print poetry collections en route to full length publication and everything between, the chapbook offers both the artist and the writer a venue that readily lends itself to risk-taking innovation and inter-genre play.

    One artist, for example, discussed a one-of-a-kind piece of textual art comprised of letters passed between two brothers while one was in prison that were paced together and rolled into a scroll kept in the incarcerated brother’s prison cup, on which he had painted an interpretation of his experience in prison.

    Cara Benson of the international collaborative project known as the Dusie Kollektiv describes the chapbook as an automatic audience in which there is no barrier of market acceptance. “I felt really boundary-breaking,” she remarked. “I found something that I might not have found otherwise.”

    Poetry Society of America’s 2010 Fellowship Chapbook winner Hossannah Asuncion says that the chapbook allows writers to step out of writing as a writer and look at it as something different, something physical. The chapbook, for her, forms a community of cultural meaning-making where anything goes.

    Limitations of the form are most readily experienced in distribution. Much of the art produced cannot be replicated, such as the “prison cup scroll” described above. While the text can be extracted from the form and copied, it is in the place where text meets form that we find the most engaging dialogue occurs. Distribution is also limited due to the grassroots nature of making and marketing chapbooks. But many of the artists at the festival readily agree that such limitations are offset by the gifting economy and community perpetuated by this increasingly expanding niche. For Nate Pritz of Hangman Press, the limitations and struggles of chapbook production are amply rewarded in “that moment where you hijack the commercial market and make it human again.”

    What does the future hold for this refreshingly cooperative human form? The unique nature and inherent limits of fine-press, handmade production makes it an unlikely market conglomerate, but in an increasingly wired, mass produced society, poet and CUNY professor Kimiko Hahn suggests the chapbook will provide “a place where established writers can experiment.” It’s a place that “is going to be increasingly important.” One thing is certain: the vision of these artists, both content and form, will not be contained or detained by traditional categorization. There is nothing of the binary in these books.

    For more information on this or next year’s Chapbook Festival, visit the CUNY website at www.cuny.edu or chapfest.wordpress.com.

    Author bio:

    Abby Kerstetter is a freelance writer, proofreader, and editor currently living in Montclair, NJ. She is an avid reader of philosophy, anthropology, fables and folklore, which she enjoys shaping into mirrors of hidden-inbetween-things and familiar things we no longer recognize.

    finish line

    2 Responses to “Cross-Binding Text and Form: The Interstitial Seams of Chapbooks”

    1. Wendy Ellertson Says:

      Thanks for this! Definitely a festival I’d love to take in next year!!!!

    2. a Pandora’s Box of subject and form « 2011 Chapbook Festival Says:

      [...] Interstitial Arts Foundation reports from the Chapbook Festival: What does the future hold for this refreshingly cooperative [...]

    Post a Comment