Abra began as a collaborative book-length poem created by Amaranth Borsuk and Kate Durbin. During the writing process, Amaranth and Kate wrote poems separately using a series of constraints, then wove them together and edited them side by side. As they constructed these conjoined poems, a new voice emerged, that of ABRA herself. In order to perform as Abra, they began to create a series of conjoined costumes, each an avatar whose various aspects reflect references within the poems.


The project has expanded, thanks to an NEA-sponsored “Expanded Artists’ Books” grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College, Chicago, and now includes an artist’s book and iPad app, created by poet and media artist Ian Hatcher, that may be read separately or together, with the iPad inserted into the back of the book.

These images were taken with the prototype book exhibited at AWP 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

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