Welcome to the second issue of Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts, an extension of the Interfictions anthology series published in conjunction between the Interstitial Arts Foundation and Small Beer Press. As writers with one foot in the academic world and one in genre fiction, we seek to bring together a diverse roster of work that plays at the edges of both.
This issue’s fiction features work that blurs the lines between fiction and other forms in several tantalizing iterations. The excerpt from Kevin Brockmeier’s forthcoming memoir/novel A Few Seconds of Radiant Film Strip mixes fictional technique with actual remembrances of middle school awkwardness. “The Philip Sidney Game” by Alan DeNiro plays recursive games with narrative itself, and Molly Gloss re-imagines, in archival form, the life of the Presley Brothers, Elvis and Jesse. Anil Menon mixes footnotes, visual elements, and fiction in his unique report on zombie culture, and Nikki Alfar presents a surreal story of Japanese automata.
This issue’s poetry considers language and the spirit. Sara Norja’s “Orthography: A Personal History” and Alexandra Seidel’s “My Language, My Voice” express bilingual experience in bilingual forms that seek a space between poetry and the essay. Sonya Taaffe’s “Hamsa” and Kathrin Köhler’s “I am the lost scarf chased by the wind, I am the snowdrift and the snow” offer meditations on spirituality and nature, one unfolding in sunlight, the other in moonlight. “Jacob’s Tale” by Nancy Hightower at once evokes religious tradition, and makes it strange, while Maria Romasco-Moore’s “Peel” combines word and image in the service of an uncertain, perhaps disintegrating, vision.
Our nonfiction runs the gamut from the theoretical to the deeply personal. At the theoretical end of the spectrum, Mark P. Williams examines the radical power of multiverses in “Rise of the Irregulars,” and Brenda Hammack considers texts as travel guides in “Mapping the Interstices: Reif Larsen’s and Umberto Eco’s Illustrated Texts.” In “The Interstitial Practice of Wonder,” Katharine Haake reflects on her experience of using the concept of the interstitial to teach literature and writing; her piece is followed by “Memory of the Process,” an excerpt from an essay by her student, Sean Pessin, winner of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in English at California State University, Northridge. Finally, in “Supplemental Declaration of Henry Lien,” Henry Lien distills memory into the form of a legal document, crafting an expression of love and loss that hangs suspended between fantasy and memoir.
Interfictions‘ mission is to blur boundaries, not reinforce them. Consider the categories of “fiction,” “nonfiction,” and “poetry,” as frames and questions, not prescriptions. The work presented here speaks on its own terms.