If Rasiqra Revulva isn’t already a household name in the zine community, she will be. Revulva is a multi-media artist who has explored almost every technique in her chapbooks and zines, from found poetry to glitch art. Her debut chapbook, Cephalopography, came out in 2016, followed by If You Forget the Whipped Cream, You’re No Good As A Woman in 2018. She is also an editor, songwriter, and performance artist. Oh, and she even has a band called The Databats. Needless to say, we are psyched to have Rasiqra on board as the third judge for this year’s Zine Awards! Here’s a little more information on her work and what she’ll be looking for from submissions:
What inspired you to start making chapbooks? How did you originally get involved with zine-making?
Chapbooks and zines can each be stepping stones, shorelines, entire islands. They can also share tactile and logistical qualities that I find so inviting! My own zines resemble proto-chapbooks, in that they highlight a single poem expanded across several pages, and annotated visually using the poetry-infused glitch-art technique I explore in larger manuscripts, and in other media.
What kind of zines make you excited? What will you be looking for from this year’s submissions?
I am most excited by work with a distinct point-of-view. I’m also drawn to qualities like precision, passion, humour, risk, design, experimentation, and form. Above all, I love to be surprised.
Do you find that your performance art and music intersect with your poetry and chapbooks? Do you explore similar themes across these mediums?
Bleed through; palimpsests; feedback loops; möbius strips; ecosystems…The disciplines feed and flavour each other in ways I anticipate, and ways I never could. To give examples: my manuscripts have always contained an element of science-inspired visual illustration; my performance art is frequently rooted in sonic translations of my text art and/or visual poetry; my video art is rooted in extensions of visual art, poetry, and songwriting/audio art; and my work with The Databats allows me collaborative means to explore endless poetry and visual art adaptations while pursuing my passion for science art and communication (SciArt and SciComm)!
What are you reading/listening to right now?
Reading: in the past few days, I’ve finished Nicole Brossard’s Museum of Bone and Water (translated by Robert Mazjels and Erin Mouré); Raina Telgemeier’s Drama; and Soraya Peerbaye’s Tell: poems for a girlhood. I’m currently just under halfway through Dionne Brand’s In Another Place, Not Here; and a few pages into Ravishing Disunities: Real Ghazals in English, edited by Agha Shahid Ali.
Listening: The Databats are working on a variety of new collaborations, so I’ve been marinating in a sea of draft stems and works in progress. Otherwise, my recent everyday rotation has included Eartha Kitt, SONOIO, Air, Missy Elliott, Donna Summer, and Björk,; while my writing rotation has featured various film scores and adjacent instrumentals by composers such as Michael Abels, John Carpenter, Shirley Walker, Colin Stetson, Angelo Badalamenti, Mychael Danna, Angela Morley, and John Williams. I’m currently—as in, while typing this response—streaming Kurt Harland’s original soundtrack for X-Men 2: Clone Wars (for Sega Genesis)!
Rasiqra Revulva is a queer femme writer, multi-media artist, editor, musician, performer, SciComm advocate, and Databat. Her debut collection Cephalopography will be published by Wolsak & Wynn in 2020. “If You Forget the Whipped Cream, You’re No Good As A Woman” (Gap Riot Press, 2018) is her second chapbook. Learn more at @rasiqra_revulva and @thedatabats.