Mutating the Signature is the Winter 2009 issue of the online literary magazine qarrtsiluni. The title refers to the issue's theme: all the writing, images, and multimedia works included were collaborations. Issue editors Dana Guthrie Martin and Nathan Moore, longtime poetry collaborators themselves, wrote in their call for submissions that they wanted "to emphasize the gnarly, brilliant, iterative, process-oriented mess that is the heart of any collaborative artistic endeavor."
The print edition couldn't include music or video and one set of image-poem collaborations for which color was necessary, but it contains all the other poems, essays, and stories that were published online. One of its most intriguing aspects is the inclusion of "process notes" by each pair or group of collaborators, explaining how they worked together and how the collaborative process not only mutated each person's original ideas into something new, but changed their concept of authorship itself.
After editing the collaborate qarrtsiluni issue, Dana Guthrie Martin and Nathan Moore continued the concept in their own online magazine, also called Mutating the Signature, each issue of which features real-time collaborations between two poets, or a poet and an artist.
As online literary magazines go, qarrtsiluni, at five-and-a-half years old, is positively venerable -- but retains the edginess, openness, vitality and editorial responsiveness that have set it apart from the beginning. Qarrtsiluni offers cutting-edge electronic delivery of original, thematically organized poetry, prose, and art, and its almost-daily posts are available online both as text and audio, read by the authors; the magazine can be accessed via browsers, email, feed readers, portable music listening devices, and through the print editions. The title comes from an Iñupiaq word that means “sitting together in the darkness, waiting for something to burst.” Qarrtsiluni's managing editors are Dave Bonta and Beth Adams; three of the four issues each year are guest-edited by teams of two invited editors and the magazine sponsors an annual chapbook contest.
Mutating the Signature (qarrtsiluni vol. 1.2)
Dana Guthrie Martin + Nathan Moore, editors
146 pages; 6 x 9", $13.95