Jill Magi is an artist, critic, and educator who works in text, image, and textile. Her books include LABOR (Nightboat Books), SLOT (Ugly Duckling Presse), Cadastral Map (Shearsman), Torchwood (Shearsman), Threads (Futurepoem), Shroud (an unlimited edition project with Jen Hofer), and numerous chapbooks and handmade books. In 2015 she curated two projects for Essay Press on labor and culture work and featuring conversations with poets, an historian, a librarian, and teachers entitled Labor Poetic Labor! and Labor Poetic Labor! 2: Into the Archive. Jill contributed a weekly commentary for three months on "a textile poetics" for Jacket2 in 2015, and other critical essays have appeared in the following anthologies: The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (Fence Books), The Force of What's Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avante-Garde (Nightboat Books), Ley Lines (Wilfrid Laurier University Press), The Eco-Language Reader (Portable Press/Nightboat), and Letters to Poets: Conversations about Poetics, Politics, and Community (Saturnalia). An extended essay on a textimage theory and curriculum entitled Pageviews/Innervisions was published in 2014 by Moving Furniture Press/Rattapallax. From 2002-2012 she ran Sona Books, a community-based chapbook press, and for her publishing work, she was recognized by Poets & Writers magazine as among the most inspiring authors of 2010.
Her visual works have been exhibited at Counterpath, the Arcade 6 Gallery of Columbia College, The Textile Arts Center Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Arts Council Gallery, apexart, AC Institute, and Pace University, and in 2013, the Project Space Gallery at New York University Abu Dhabi launched a solo exhibit of her works-on-paper, embroideries, paintings and drawings, and handmade books. She was a resident artist at the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center, a writer-in-residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and an arts grant recipient from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.
Jill has taught literature, writing, poetics, visual art and culture at The New School, Goddard College, The City University of New York, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 2012-13, she was the Columbia College Chicago MFA Poetry visiting writer. In the fall of 2013 she joined the faculty at New York University Abu Dhabi where she teaches writing through the study of textiles, as well as advanced poetry workshops.
"I use mark-making to tune in to the friction between ideology and experience, gesturing across both physical and unseen borders into liminal spaces—the corridor just after the threshold, for example—and borders of thought and identity. I am looking for places where resistances of many kinds may take root. Recent projects explore culture work and economic precarity, transnational living and the ideal of "free speech," memorialization and incorporated memory, migration and immigration, as well as cloth and mourning, stitching as mark, clay vessels, painting and drawing surfaces, and the unbound book. Often involving research, I begin with the notebook and return there to the handwritten shape of thinking. From the notebook and research, projects both conceptual and lyrical develop into objects, works for the wall, a book of poems, a drawing, an essay, a video, an installation."