David Eggleton: Hybrid is as hybrid does

Mar 2023 | Hybrid, Small craft

AT THE BAY | I TE KOKORU is hosting a book competition in 2023 that will include, among others, the publication for a single-author set of hybrid work. Hybrid seems to be the form that eludes definition – breaking down boundaries and finding its own way.

We asked David Eggleton to weigh in with his views on hybrid writing. We asked him: You are a poet and also a storyteller – boundary-crossing in your own writing. You work as both writer and editor, enjoying the fluidity of definition in your writing. What do you think of when you think hybrid, and what do you hope to see as submissions for hybrid writing, both online and in the book series?


Hybrid is as hybrid does.

I think of it as a blend of the real and the imaginary.

Hybrid is about connections of the unlikely. Hybrid is a conceptualisation that allows for all sorts of possibilities, from the threadbare and dusty magic carpet ride back through time, to the plush multi-channel receptivity of an eco-friendly intercontinental bus journey, to a trip by steampunk train through the Southern Alps. Hybrid is borderline and ignores all boundaries; hybrid is a smuggler zone for dazzling contraband you never knew you needed until you saw it; hybrid is a return to elemental beginnings, to the chaos where all creation starts.

In the submissions, I hope to discover stories which have the ability to conjure entire worlds in just a few words. I would like to receive blends and fusions of vignettes jammy with details and a lingering aftertaste; I would like to receive jigsaws of linguistic elements greater than the sum of their parts; I would like to receive inventive trapdoor contraptions stuffed with curious plot-twists, or elastic with mysterious shape-shifting. I would welcome artfully collaged implosions of narrative, the heartbeat vertigo of dizzying revelations or untrue confessions, the deft poker-table shuffling of genre conventions in search of the ace in the hole. I ask only for my attention to be held all the way through on any swayback ride around the lakes of the fantastic and the precipices of suspense.

They may be rickety makeshift yarns given the spray-gloss of permanence and a museum vitrine-like status  of artefact authenticity; they may be precarious conglomerations of bamboo walls and whistling nightingale floorboards; they may be a fluttering piwakawaka of speculation darting through a tumbledown shack of language from nook to cranny in search of an open window; they may be glued-down collages of esoteric images much brooded-over. To be brief, they may be anything: in hybrid one expects the unexpected as a matter of course.


The AT THE BAY | I TE KOKORU competition for a collection of hybrid work is open through 31 May 2023. For information about how to submit, go here.


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