A book made of paper means to be consumed until falling apart. Its vitality comes from its circulation among friends, family, strangers. An author often doesn’t know where, when, how. A book may be stolen fairly easily, though I’m not condoning that. But I’d like to point out that electronic versions can be stolen away by companies if you stop paying. A story: It took me ten years to write and publish my first book with a small press. At an open studios event in Lower Manhattan, I displayed a stack of them for sale for $12 each. I also hung up some works on paper—works made quickly, I admit. One work on the wall sold for a pretty hefty amount, and one book was stolen! This is why I keep on writing and making books: for their promiscuity, fluxing values, and because they beg to be well used.

—Jill Magi


Jill Magi’s books include ThreadsTorchwoodSLOTCadastral MapLABOR, and Pageviews/Innervisions, a monograph on textimage hybridity. SPEECH is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2019. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Rivulet, and Best American Experimental Writing 2018. Jill was a featured blogger for the Poetry Foundation in 2017, and in 2015, she wrote commentaries for Jacket2 on “a textile poetics.” Other essays have appeared in The Edinburgh University Press Critical Medical Humanities ReaderThe Force of What’s Possible: Accessibility and the Avant-garde, The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind,and The Eco-Language Reader. Jill has held residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center. She has had solo exhibitions with Tashkeel in Dubai, and with the Project Space Gallery at New York University Abu Dhabi where she joined the faculty in 2013.

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