IAS faculty member Amaranth Borsuk and collaborators receive international Turn on Literature Prize

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IAS faculty member Amaranth Borsuk and collaborators receive international Turn on Literature Prize 

Established under the EU program Creative Europe, the juried prize will present an exhibition of electronic literature at libraries in Denmark, Norway, and Romania this fall. As winners, Borsuk and her collaborators Kate Durbin and Ian Hatcher will be invited to talks in Bergen and Roskilde to demonstrate their work Abra, an artist's book and free iOS app. The Turn on Literature selection committee had this to say about their choice:

"Abra is a magical poetry instrument/spellbook for iOS, where readers encounter a series of poems exploring themes of mutation and excess. The poems themselves are constantly in motion, mutating gradually from one to the next. Readers can take part in this process, touching words and watching them shift and undulate, casting spells to set the text in motion, and grafting new words into the text.

Abra merges physical and digital media, integrating a hand-made artists’ book with an iPad app that can be read separately or together, with the iPad inserted into the back of the book. The artist’s book contains a number of physical features that emulate the mutation and interactivity of the app, including blind-printed text, heat-sensitive ink, and laser-cut openings that invite the reader to see page and screen as a continuous touchscreen interface.

ABRA is beautiful and exiting with a lot of consideration and design of both the physical book and the app.   It starts with good writing, and it is very smart about the connection between interactivity and poetic constraint. It is multilayered and playful, and a excellent representation of contemporary electronic literature. The combination of physical book and app is appealing and will make good sense in a library exhibition."