Blog Categories
  • Visit our Indiegogo campaign!

  • Support the IAF!

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation needs your support. Click here to donate and become a Friend of the IAF!

  • About the IAF

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

  • Latest IAF News


    Thanks to 277 generous backers for our Interfictions Indiegogo Campaign, we raised $10,318 by the time our campaign ended at midnight, July 14th, 2014.  When we launched on June 3rd, we were staggered to find donations doubling almost daily, until after about 3 weeks we had reached our original target goal of $8,500, and were able to move on to our Stretch Goal of $10,000. Which means we not only get to publish Interfictions Online for another year, but we can pay our contributors at higher rates now, rates more in line with the effort and talent that innovation requires. Thank you, each and every one of the 277 generous donors who stepped forward to say that interstitial art is valued and valuable. The number of people is as important as the number of dollars raised. We are awed by your generosity. Now our work begins in earnest. We will […]

    INTERFICTIONS issue #3 is up online!

    The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal’s latest issue, on May 22, 2014! The Spring 2014 issue’s non-fiction offerings include Mark Craddock’s poignant collage in Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide, while Inda Lauryn’s Parallels and Transitions splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga speaks for itself. And in an interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook. The fiction offerings remix tropes from ghosts to automata, with new work by Richard Butner, Su-Yee Lin, Kat Howard, Tade Thompson and S. Craig Renfroe Jr. Several of the poems in this issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s AI Winter draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s Double Business on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s Hypothesis Between Your Ribs on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter. With the publication […]

  • Featured IAF News

  • Events

    Nothing has been posted in the selected categories.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

  • ≡ Essays

    What is ‘interstitial’? What does it mean to be an interstitial artist? In this collection of in-depth essays, an array of imaginative artists and writers from Holly Black to Charles Vess wrestle with these questions and explain what interstitiality means to them.

    illustration by Ilene Winn-Lederer

    illustration by Ilene Winn-Lederer

    Are You Bitextual Too?

    “Like Scheherezade, I straddled the worlds of the oral and the literary tradition, playing with sound in speaking and in written text.”

    On the Pleasures of Not Belonging


    “What I love about the folks who have embraced interstitial arts is that some of them do comics, some publish romances, some compose music, some write fantasy or science fiction, but all of them are perfectly comfortable thinking about things other than their areas of specialization.”

    Interstitial: This is My Between

    ELISSA CAREY, 2009

    “I belong in no particular circles, though I am acquainted with many. I’m the welcomed outsider. I am a messenger, a scholar, a trickster, a lover and a fighter. I am in myself interstitial, like the Borrowers I read as a child.”

    On Interstitiality and Being Shelved in the Wrong Place


    “Part of the problem with the latter bookend is simply the fantasy cooties thing, something that apparently requires a warding off of the first order should its evil eye fall on your work – but as I keep telling everyone, ALL FICTION IS FANTASY.”

    The Prickly, Tricky, Ornery Multiverse of Interstitial Art


    “There’s a sense of playful disregard on the interstitial artist’s part, seeking not merely to create something new, but something that jars…”

    Stepping Over the Cracks


    “I don’t remember when I first heard ‘step on a crack, break your mother’s back’, but I do remember leaping over the concrete lines…”

    American Indian Music: Not Just Drums and Flute Anymore

    CAROLYN DUNN, 2003

    “People think of Indians as stoic, archaic, unmoving. However, we are great gossips. We love words. We love music, we love art, we love the land, and we love to move. To cross borders is our specialty – we’ve been doing it for thousands of years.”

    Towards a Theory of the Interstitial [Version 1.0]: The Interstitial DMZ


    Heinz Insu Fenkl offers a theory of interstitiality based in part on the anthropological and postcolonial insights of Victor Turner and Homi Bhabha, illustrated by interstitial works such as Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds, Kirsty Gunn’s The Keepsake, and his own Memories of My Ghost Brother.

    Coloring Between the Lines


    In this essay, based on a talk given to the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, Gregory Frost describes recent literary movements, such as slipstream, metafiction, and magic realism, that have brought into question the boundaries between genres, and makes a case for the importance of interstitial writing.

    What’s In the Wind


    “I think a whole lot of our genetically modified products have escaped from the fantasy orchard and blown onto that really big field across the (often self-imposed) road, and some of it in turn has settled over our field; for some while now, we within the orchard have been trying to describe to ourselves all that cross-pollinated mutant stuff.”



    “We talk of borders and interstices, corridors and edges. It seems to me that the very act of creating, whether it’s music or fiction or painting, sculptures or performances, is by definition to stand upon the edge…”

    The Interstitial Art Statement of Kendrick Goss


    Crossing Borders, by Night


    “When I was a child, I traveled with my grandmother across the border between Hungary and Czechoslovakia….These are the things you lose when you cross closed borders: memories, a language, a country.”

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation: An Introduction


    Whose idea was this, anyway? In a brief overview of the organization and its goals, Ellen Kushner narrates the founding of the IAF, its essential outlook, vision and hopes for the future.

    Music and Categories: An Interstitial Speculation on Record Collections


    “I seemed to prefer the music of artists who were hard to classify. Words like ‘eccentric’, ‘oddball’, and ‘uncategorizable’ were magnets. When I discovered Harry Partch, who created his own orchestra of 43-tone-to-the-octave instruments to play his richly textured compositions, I thought I’d found the Holy Grail.”

    An Introduction to Interstitial Arts: Life on the Border


    “Borders are interesting places. As debatable land, sometimes waste land or wilderness, they can be dangerous places to visit or live in, but they are never boring.”

    Life Between Borders


    “Crossing from Canada into the U.S., I was arrested for possession of hashish found in the car that I drove… I tell you this because life’s dangerous between borders.”



    “After spending a weekend at WisCon, billed as the world’s only feminist science fiction convention, I have been thinking about consolation, pattern, interstitiality, and community…”

    Categories, Genres and Labels, Oh My…

    EVE SWEETSER, 2003

    A close look at our impulse to categorize, and the ways in which categories are created and maintained, based on the findings of cognitive science.

    Sudden Hummingbirds, Sudden Dislocations: The Interstitial Experience


    “When I first heard about the Interstitial Arts, I thought not just of writing and art and music – I thought of moments in my life that were interstitial, that led to the interstitial in my own writing.”

    An Impossible Marriage of Materials

    CHARLES VESS, 2003

    “That panic that had been instilled by my art instructors’ declaration of the death of ‘Art’ began to subside. I came to know and be comforted by the fact that there has always been a great surging sea of artistic movements taking place in the far corners of the world.”

    Growing Up Interstitial

    CHARLES VESS, 2003

    “Narrative skill was considered ‘mere illustration’, and woe to the student who fell into that great, dark chasm.”

    Artists Without Borders


    “Though as an editor I’ve been gleefully border hopping ever since my first anthologies were published back in the early 1980s, as a writer I’ve been more conservative, sneaking up to the border slowly, slowly, and with many a backward glance.”