Announcing our 2018 commission recipients

Triple Canopy is pleased to announce that Benjamin Krusling and Sara Jaffe are the recipients of our ninth annual call for proposals. The magazine invited writers of fiction and poetry to propose projects for inclusion in an upcoming issue devoted to the relationship between speaking and listening and the role of emerging technologies in fostering, reconfiguring, and eroding associations between people. In the next year, the recipients will work closely with editors on the creative and technical realization of their projects, which may be presented as digital works of literature or print publications.

We thank everyone who applied and congratulate this year’s recipients!

2018 Commission Recipients

Clipse feat. Pharrell, Mr. Me Too, 2006, screenshot.

Benjamin Krusling will contribute “I Have Too Much to Hide,” a digital collection of poems that considers how poetry might engage the possibilities of post-representational politics, work around representation, or creatively deploy representation to new ends. Through a series of poems interwoven with screenshots, manipulated images, and video clips, Krusling will explore how the anxious, polluted streams of YouTube and Spotify—in which content follows logically from that which the user has already engaged, and is periodically punctuated by algorithmically-triggered commercial messages—have shaped how we experience ourselves and desire others.

Krusling is a writer, artist, and lecturer in English at the University of Iowa.

“The room had no windows but the light was, as I’d been promised, inoffensive, dimming responsibly during periods of inactivity. ... The white plaster walls kept everything out,” reports Sara Jaffe’s song-protagonist in “Algorithm.”

Sara Jaffe’s “Algorithm” is a short story told from the perspective of a song on a Pandora-like music streaming platform. The song is “captured” by representatives of the company, then processed and classified according to the highly secretive analytics of Pandora’s Music Genome Project. From there, the song undertakes an existential journey as it attempts to understand how and why it’s matched with other songs: does simply sharing “female vocals” mean that two songs have anything in common? What happens to a song’s political context and material value when analytics are based solely on the way it sounds? The song discovers an underground economy of information-trading about the mechanics of the algorithm and learns about artists’ meager financial remuneration. There’s talk of revolt, but what would that look like?

Jaffe is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. Her first novel, Dryland, was published by Tin House in 2015, and her short fiction and criticism have appeared in Bomb, Noon, Fence, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Offing. She co-edited The Art of Touring (Yeti, 2009), an anthology of writing and visual art by musicians that draws on her experience in the post-punk band Erase Errata.