Our tenth issue of Poetry Is Dead is weird as fuck, and we love it.

The chapbook has taken on a variety of forms in the digital age. Produced by Poetry Is Dead and curated by the magazine’s founder Daniel Zomparelli, Sixteen Pages presents a series of sixteen-page digital chapbooks from around the world that visitors can view using a smartphone or tablet. 

Our Guest Editor Dina Del Bucchia gives you a peak inside the latest issue.

Think back to when you started writing. What’s an earlier influence you outgrew, abandoned, or turned against?

When I was 4 or 5 years old, I recorded myself talking into a voice recorder, telling stories about whatever images came into my head. Later found by my older sister, these stories provided ample entertainment for my family - both because I was unreserved in my thoughts and also because The the content and characters were considered absurd by my family. A common thing I do is to place myself in binaries within colonial narratives, as either a part of, or in resistance to. The story feels stronger to me when I let myself be both. Storytelling is old; mixedness is old. I’m visually writing to get closer to old.

Think back to when you started writing. What’s an earlier influence you outgrew, abandoned, or turned against?

I used to read a lot of young adult fantasy, Marvel comics—anything that gave its characters extraordinary abilities. As a child I was (and still am) fascinated with magic, divinity and power beyond the ordinary. That’s what I think turned me onto poems. They offered a medium that probes beneath the surface images of the world and enters a state of heightened possibility. In her book, Meat Heart, Melissa Broder writes, “Somewhere I stopped looking for magic”.  After a few abortive attempts at a first chapter, I turned away from fantasy novels, but I’m still looking for magic (and of course I went to see The Avengers movie too).

Think back to when you started writing. What’s an earlier influence you outgrew, abandoned, or turned against?

I was very influenced by the Romantics, and the Beat Generation interpretation of a modern yet Romantic view of life. This led me, at first, to write a lot about idealist, lofty subjects, a veneration of corporeal beauty, a concentration on the alignment between aesthetics off the page turning up on the page. I wouldn’t say I’ve abandoned this tradition, but at the suggestion of two profoundly influential undergraduate mentors, I’ve ‘turned against’ it in the sense that I try to flip the subject on its head. I’m more interested in unraveling those issues, complicating them, rather than merely celebrating them.

In her book ‘The Queer Art of Failure’ Judith Halberstam offers alternative ways of knowing and becoming. Instead of valuing the conventional paths of belonging, achievement and completion, she thinks about and champions the ways of “failure”: losing your way, giving in, being excluded, forgetting, awkwardness, coming apart. Not just rejecting the “normal,” Halberstam shows alternatives to success as paths that have always been there, moving away from mastery and coherence. In this series of Q&A’s with contributors to our upcoming Queer issue, we play with these ideas. When we aren’t trying to finish first (or finish anything) where do we end up?