From extra-large paintings of television and YouTube screenshots to erased Simpsons posters, Brook’s work is a meta exploration of process and time. Along one expansive wall: reproductions of his childhood artwork co-mingle with paintings created by his 6-year-old daughter. In the next room: framed artwork rivers across the floor, requiring viewers to look down, interact with, step over. The work fits PCA&D’s gallery perfectly—don’t miss the surveilling view from floor three to floor one. Brook’s sense of humor is best on display in “Application”, an intricate watercolor replica of a painting competition entry form. The piece was ultimately accepted.
I’m slowly wading through a bunch of things I’ve bookmarked on my computer this summer. Here are a couple you might want to check out, too:
The Awesome Foundation - Monthly $1,000 micro-grants “…given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.” Anyone is eligible for a grant — individuals, groups, and organizations alike. Applications are always open. Found via the resources page at the brand new Lancaster Public Art website.
Alliance of Artists Communities - I rely on the AAC to research writing residencies around the country. However, the website is full of other good info, like this intro to/resource list re: residency funding. Something special about this site, versus others that share residency info, is that they often list how large the most recent applicant pool was for a given residency program. With a little bit of digging, you can find opportunities with the best acceptance odds that match your project goals! Also bookmarked from the LPA website!
DoDIY - My pal Alyssa recently took the reins at this site, which “…exists to support DIY spaces, organizers, musicians, performers, writers, activists, and other like-minded folks. The site hosts resources for anyone interested in the DIY ethos, as well as maintains a catalog of event spaces and organizers from around the world.” The state/country directory is such an excellent resource for anyone planning a tour, hosting events, or just interested in learning more about DIY topics. Pretty proud of the Pennsylvania section!
“Your Fans Don't Care How Excited You Are…” - This blog post by Krisi Packer for Americans For The Arts has some great stats (our attention span is 8.25 seconds / 71% of consumers have unfollowed a brand on social because they were embarrassed) but this is my favorite part: “If you do one thing from this blog post, stop including ,“We’re so excited about our upcoming season.” As a user, I don’t care that you’re excited—what will get me jazzed about upcoming programming?” [emphasis mine]. This is a pet peeve of mine, and one that I am guilty of as well. It makes so much sense to make your fans/visitors/shoppers/audience the focus of your content & copy but it’s easy to forget when you’re in the never-ending slog of social media content writing.
Fleisher Art Memorial Call for Entries: Wind Challenge, 2020-2021 - This sounds like a really cool art opportunity for people currently living in CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, RI, or Washington, DC. I had the opportunity to teach through the Fleisher Teen Lounge program a few years ago, and it seemed like a great organization. Act fast—the application deadline is September 13th.
Fave photo by @jula on Unsplash
In a few weeks I head out to a 7-day residency in Lovell, Maine. I am really looking forward to spending some time at the Hewnoaks Artist Colony, and am thrilled that it’s primarily disconnected. There won’t be wifi in my work/live space and cell coverage is spotty. I can’t wait to tune everything else out and just work on my projects.
That said, there’s a lot of prep I still need to do beforehand. Here are some of the things on my mind:
Making a meal plan. Some residencies provide food for you, but not this one of them. The location is somewhat remote so we’ve been advised to bring any food we really count on since the local grocery stores might not have specialty items. If you know me at all, you know I have weird food issues, so this is looming large. Basically I want to make or bring everything I will need for the week, including extras for any nights the group of artists might hold potlucks. For my last two week-long residencies, I survived on bagged salads, cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, crackers, salami, trail mix, quinoa, oatmeal, and bananas. Basically like grown-up lunchables plus wine and coffee.
Figuring out a photography rig. For one of the projects I’m working on, I need a camera that shoots from above and will stay in the same place. Something like this setup. However, I’m running out of time and unless I can borrow equipment from someone in town, this might not happen. I plan to talk to 3 local photographers I know to see if they have anything that might work that I can snag for a week. If this part of my project doesn’t work out, it’s not a huge deal, but I’d love to have this set up to experiment with during the week I’m there.
Picking out books. Which books you bring with you on residency has got to be the most difficult part for any writer! You won’t have access to your full collection, you’re typically far away from your local library and bookstores, and you don’t know exactly what you’re going to be in the mood to read. Some residencies have on-site libraries but that’s still an unknown. I usually bring about 7-10 books with me—some mentor texts relating to the projects I’m working on, some books from my to-read list, and at least one book I’ve read a bunch of times. I call this my comfort book, the one that I’ll turn to if things start to go sideways and I need a tried and true positive distraction.
I need to buy a used cd player/radio; painter’s tape; index cards. I need to bring a level; a couple large sheets of white paper; source texts; collage supplies; hiking gear. There’s a lot to do, but soon I’ll be putting up my email auto-responder and checking out!
Check their book out at your local library
Ask your library to add the book to their collection
Review the book on Goodreads/Amazon
Follow the author on social media & share their posts
Take a picture of the book and share it on Instagram
Suggest the book for your book club
Recommend the author as a speaker or workshop leader
Add a link to the book in your email newsletter
Tell your friends about the book
Include the book in a blog post about your favorite books
Ask your local indie bookstore to stock the book
Add the book to your Goodreads "To Read" list
The countdown has begun for my book launch in early June! I've been working with my press to arrange for some readings to celebrate. Here's where you can catch me & pick up a signed copy this spring:
- June 15 - Modern Art, Lancaster, PA (mostly a chill party with a themed beverage, make your own celebrity poem station, and craft table where you can design the perfect paper bag mask)
- June 17 - Ottobar, Baltimore, MD (reading with Steven Leyva & Meghan Phillips, hosted by Andrew Sargus Klein with activities by Container)
- June 21 - Tattooed Mom, Philadelphia, PA (reading with Jim Warner & Gina Myers, hosted by Jaime Fountaine)
I had the chance to work with the amazing Melissa Dias-Mandoly on some artwork for my book launch posters (sneak peek below!) so keep an eye out for those on social media and around town if you live in Lancaster, Baltimore, or Philly! I also commissioned my very first poem over the weekend, which you'll have to come to one of the readings to learn more about. Secrets...
Shout-out to Paperless Post, who helped me design customized digital book launch invitations that I've been sending out to my contacts!
You can pre-order I Am Not Famous Anymore: Poems after Shia LaBeouf now from Mason Jar Press (to be shipped in June) or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf if you're planning to pick up a copy in person at one of the readings. I'm working on some additional fall dates (Syracuse & Brockport, NY, as well as the Baltimore Book Festival), so stay tuned!
This is an exercise based off my Writing About Art workshops, offered through the Arts Center of Saint Peter (March 18 / April 15). The 410 Project is a community art space located at 523 South Front Street in Mankato, Minnesota. Grab your notebook and get there before the exhibit comes down on March 4th!
- Find the artwork referenced, currently on display as part of the 410 Project Juried Exhibition. I'm purposely only showing a little snippet of it, along with the artist info, so you have to visit the gallery! Being physically present alongside the work of art is one of the generative constraints that makes this exercise fruitful.
- Stand in front of it and look it for at least 1 minute (average viewing time for most artwork is about 15-25 seconds!).
- Set the alarm on your phone for 7 minutes.
- Read the associated prompt out loud or write it at the top of your notebook page.
- Write, write, write. Try not to stop writing for the whole 7 minutes, even if you're just writing nonsense. Stand with a clipboard, sit down on the gallery floor, or ask for a chair from the volunteer in the back.
This is a generative exercise! You might walk away with a poem, a memory that surfaced, or a kernel of an idea for a story. At the very least, you see some cool art. Learn more about Writing About Art by downloading my free, printable zine.
If you opened your mouth wide enough, what could we see?
What do you bow down to?
What is at the center?
Write about what is disappearing with each passing day.
Write about the foods you are not allowed to eat.
Starting from your feet and moving upwards, describe your body. When you get to your waist, you must switch to describing something that is not human.
The 410 Project 2018 Juried Exhibition holds over 100 different pieces of artwork created by artists living throughout southern Minnesota. Many thanks to 2018 juror J. Wren Supak.
In the summer of 2016 I contributed a suite of erasures to NonBinary Review Issue #10: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I had a lot of fun creating these on my computer—my typical process is to circle or cross words out by hand, so this was something a little different. Many thanks to editors Allie Marini and Lise Quintana for first publishing these!
These are found poems. Source material: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll with original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel, Scholastic Inc., 1988.
It's not often that poets get to see their work off of a page (or screen). This summer I had the chance to display some of my erasure poems in an art installation for Made Here: Future, a project by Hennepin Theatre Trust.
Made Here is a walkable urban art experience that temporarily fills empty storefronts and commercial spaces with the work of Minnesota artists. Located in the West Downtown Minneapolis Cultural District, the project aims to highlight artists but also bring attention to available downtown properties—piquing the interest of renters and entrepreneurs. In fact, my installation came down prematurely when the former Rosa Mexicano restaurant in City Center was leased after being vacant for nearly a year.
"Dystopia Erased" showcased erasure poems sourced from four different dystopian novels, with themes including the existence of fact through memory; women’s bodies as political instruments; language as a tool of power; the causes of complacency; environmental and economic crises; racial and ethnic tensions; immigration; institutionalized population control; and perceptions of otherness. My source texts included The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood; Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler; 1984 by George Orwell; and Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias.
Presenting my words as an art exhibit was filled with a lot of new challenges. Once I wrote the poems I had to design each 36"x64" panel, do test prints, revise, print again, and then transport and install the poems at my site. Erasure already forces you to work under constraints and this project presented even more of them. However, one great thing about Made Here is that the staff are available to help you through each step. The program is very accessible to emerging artists—the application does not require a resume or even previous exhibition experience, just a good idea.
In order to curate four poems that worked well together for the installation, I wrote over 40 erasure poems sourced from the four novels. Below are some that didn't make it onto the windows for Made Here, but I think are still worth sharing.
Erasure poems by Erin Dorney, 2017
In a little over a month I'll be heading to a residency on a secluded lake near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Minnesota.
The Boundary Waters is part of Superior National Forest—over a million acres of glacially-carved landscape filled with cliffs, canyons, rock formations, beaches, lakes, streams, islands, and north woods forests. According to the US Forest Service, it's one of the most visited wildernesses in the United States, set aside in 1926 to "preserve its primitive character and made a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964 with subsequent legislation in 1978."
While most visitors travel the Boundary Waters on foot and canoe, camping in the wilderness, I'll be based at the Tofte Lake Center as part of their Emerging Artists Program funded by the Jerome Foundation. I'll be there with two other Minnesota-based artists and four artists from Brooklyn, NY. Our group will include a singer, actors and dancers, a photographer, a playwright, a choreographer, a sculptor, a storyteller, and a poet (that's me!).
There are a few reasons why I'm looking forward to this residency. It will be my first time attending a group residency—at my previous residencies I have been the only person participating. I'm excited to be part of a cohort of interdisciplinary artists coming from different places, mediums, and backgrounds. This one will still be pretty self-directed in terms of creative output, but I'm looking forward to eating with other people, exploring with them, and learning about their projects. Solo residencies are important in terms of giving you time and space, but can sometimes feel a little lonely. I'll probably do a blog post comparing the two experiences (pros and cons of solo versus cohort) sometime in the future.
In preparation I've been learning a lot about Northern Minnesota and the Boundary Waters, which has been fascinating. The North Shore of Minnesota (along Lake Superior) is one of my favorite parts of this entire state, but I've never explored much to the northwest. I'll be spending my week there generating new work for my manuscript of erasure poems sourced from scientific and natural texts—specifically poems sourced from Minnesota-centric texts.
Erasure poetry is a form of found poetry where words are taken away from an existing text. Punctuation, capitalization, and line breaks are sometimes altered, but no words are added to the piece beyond the original source text.
You can see examples of erasures from an ornithology textbook over at Entropy Magazine. Some of the source texts I'll be bringing with me to the residency are listed and depicted here. Most of these were purchased from thrift stores, library or used book sales, or donated by friends. I've been particularly drawn to vintage instructional books. I find that these books have intriguing illustrations (that sometimes complement or add context to my poems) and surprising language, providing a good challenge in terms of finding the poetry in inherently "non-poetic" texts.
- “The Compact Book of Small Game and Varmints” by Ray Ovington (J.L. Pratt, 1965)
- “The Rock Book” by Carroll Lane Fenton and Mildred Adams Fenton (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
- “A Laboratory and Field Manual of Ornithology” by Olin Sewall Pettingill (Burgess Pub. Co., 1967)
- “How to Draw Trees” by Gregory Brown (Studio Ltd, 1957)
- “The Adventure Book of Chemistry” by Lazer Goldberg (Capitol Pub. Co., 1962)
- "America's Wonderlands. The scenic national parks and monuments of the United States" from the National Geographic Society of America (Washington, 1966)
- "Minnesota, Past and Present" by Antoinette E. Ford (Lyons and Carnahan, 1951)
- "Telephone Almanac for 1960" from the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (Bell Telephone System, 1960)
- "Prairie Skies: The Minnesota Weather Book" by Paul Douglas (Voyageur Press, 1990)
- "Kitchi-Gami: Wanderings Round Lake Superior" by J. G. Kohl (Ross and Haines, Inc., 1956)
- "Gopher Tales: Stories from the History of Minnesota" by Antoinette E. Ford (Lyons & Carnahan, 1938)
- "Minnesota Public Lands, 1983" prepared by Land Management Information Center Minnesota State Planning Agency in cooperation with Land Bureau Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (1983)
- "The Rocky Coast" by Rachel Carson (McCall, 1971)
If you have any last minute ideas for Minnesota-specific books that seem to match the ones described above, please let me know. Books that are valuable don't work as well since I typically alter them as part of my process. But if you're thrifting and you see something that would be perfect, get in touch! I still have a few weeks left before I head out. I'll have limited internet/cell access while I'm there, but I'll be sure to share pictures post-residency. I'm crossing my fingers for a bear sighting!
Many thanks to the Tofte Lake Center for selecting me for the Emerging Artist Program, to the Jerome Foundation for making opportunities like this possible, to Lorraine Hansen for her book donations, and to my partner Tyler who will be holding down the fort while I'm out exploring the northern-most edges of Minnesota.
Deafula #8 - The Relationships Issue - by Kerri Radley
Deafula is a personal zine written by Kerri Radley, tracing her experiences as a deaf person in a hearing world. In this issue, Kerri focuses on the topic of relationships, exploring her history of dating hearing people and interviewing her husband, Andy. I found the zine incredibly valuable in terms of providing insight into what it can be like to be deaf in an ableist society.
While some of Kerri's relationship experiences were directly related to being deaf and negotiating that particular realm, I identified with many of her stories—the memory of first realizing your difference (whatever that may be), moving and growing with a partner, and anxiety/navigating a relationship where one person is more social or outgoing than the other. I also learned a lot from this zine, particularly during the Q&A with Andy (who I absolutely cherished by the end of the 42 pages). I loved how open both writers were about their struggles, failures, and successes.
The personal stories Kerri uses to illustrate her points are poignant and impeccably chosen; the writing and editing are superb. I was particularly struck by the layout. What at first glance seems like simple "cut and paste" zine construction is really a carefully chosen visual structure that paces the reader and draws attention to certain points—almost like line breaks in a poem.
Deafula is a zine that has already made me consider the compassion reflected in my thoughts and actions. So glad that this one came across my radar (and yay for Philly-based writers!).
Cover illustration by Sara Bear.
Last March I had the opportunity to participate in the Artist Residency at Spruceton Inn. It was an amazing experience and they're currently accepting applications for 2017 residencies (through October 31, so hurry!). Spruceton Inn is a twist on a traditional bed and breakfast. Instead of offering you a home cooked morning meal, one of the rooms has been converted into a bar (open to visitors and the public). You can get Poptarts in the morning, Glogg or a local sour beer in the evenings, and it’s all super-Instagram-cute. Two years ago, the Inn started offering week-long Artist Residencies during their off-season months. Six artists are selected each year, ranging from painters to photographers, illustrators, and writers.
Each morning during my stay I woke up to a window-full of mountains and massive pine trees. Being alone for a week to work on writing was a transformative experience, one that I will always be thankful to owners Casey and Steven for. I left my residency with over 17 drafts of new poems, one of which I recently learned will be published in Amazon's weekly literary magazine Day One. Writer and artist friends, I strongly encourage you to apply!
Cat Power Issue 2
by Cassie Staub Pittsburgh, PA 15 pages stapled
"Cat Power Issue 2" is a submission-based zine focusing on issues dealing with gender, feminism, and sexism. I think what I like most about the submissions-based zines I've read (including this one) is the diversity. You get to hear different voices, see different styles of illustration/photography, and if you're not particularly loving one submission, it's not too long until you move on to the next. This zine contains mostly short personal essays, covering topics like body hair, gender roles, bad tee shirt slogans, and sexism in the DIY punk music scene. There's also an essay on gender roles in farming (framed through an ethnographic lens). The overall look is very DIY (black and white, cut and pasted text, collaged photographs, etc) and it's a quick read. "Cat Power" is a zine I really could have used as a teen—a space for girls to talk to each other about issues they're experiencing, share stories, and learn from each other.
by Rommel Wood April 2015 14 pages, stapled
This little zine is the cutest. In the opening note, author Rommel Wood says that the zine is a "love letter to Patsy, full of things I like to imagine were true about her or at least things I think might have made her laugh." Inside, readers will find a ranked list of Patsy's hairdos (with photos), images of houses that still exist that Patsy lived in, graphs of Patsy's music, quotes from Patsy, illustrations, and more. One thing I particularly love are the end-pages at the front and back of the zine—a hand lettered pattern of Patsy's first and last name. You can just see it, running diagonally through the front cover in the image above. It's little touches like this that make Wood's zine stand out. Her hypothesis pages were both funny and fitting (What Did Patsy Smell Like? A Hypothesis... Dandelions + fog / Things Elvis Had In His Pockets the 1st Time He Met Patsy... A Hypothesis... Cough drop wrapper). I also liked the way the zine is illustrated—using slightly fuzzy photos, screencaps, and blurry illustrations all placed in black-outlined boxes. I feel like Patsy Cline would have found this zine really charming.
Founder/EIC: Gwynn Galitzer Managing Editor: Diana Salvatore Design Director: Nicole Ruggiero Contributors: Alannah Farrell, Jordan Franklin, Joanne Petit-Frére, Lily Gist, Lucia Love, Olivia Mardwig, Claire Molek, Aviva Morris, Lucy Parks, Molly Rose Quinn, Diana Salvatore, Linda Stern, Gerry Visco, 2015 60 pages, bound
This zine is gorrrrrgeous! "Suffragette City" is an annual DIY zine and sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. The full-color zine showcases creatives from Brooklyn, NY as well as across the country, with the special mission of providing a high quality publication backing up work by emerging female or genderqueer artists. Issue 1 revolves around the loose theme of "Hair"—often the first attribute people notice to identify gender and often the first thing we choose to modify to help signify who we are or want to be. Inside, readers will find stunning photographs of braided hair sculptures, interviews, personal essays (including growing up with trichotillomania and awkward coming-of-age stories), poetry, data visualizations, comics, and a photo essay celebrating redheads. The opening essay by Lucy Parks was one of my favorite pieces in the zine—discussing Lucy's experiences with gender identity and non-normative hairstyles as a form of activism. Issue 2 (coming November 2016) will cover politics—promising a "collection of work directly and indirectly covering power struggles, such as the historic and contemporary roles of women in society, terrorism and dealing with tragedy, dictatorship and the right to vote, religion and prayer, the power of protest, patriotism, and more." I'm so looking forward to seeing what comes next!
Co-edited by Joel Sherman and ??? April 2013 23 pages, stapled
I asked Joel Sherman to send me a copy of "Compound Sentences" after hearing him read in St. Louis last month. It's a half-sized zine comprised of reader submissions (the note on the inside cover encourages submissions to be given directly to the bartender at R Bar on Royal Street) including fiction, poetry, and a variety of artifacts. When I say artifacts, what I mean are stories told through some kind of strict formal concept—in this case, a letter from a principal to his students following a raucous school dance; a letter from a coach to a weirdo student athlete parent; and a series of communications between a new teacher and a principal about a cringe-worthy Underground Railroad assignment. Oh, and my favorite piece in the zine (particularly because I'll be flying this weekend): an airplane armrest resolution contract to be signed by both seatmates. There are illustrations interspersed throughout the text and author names that seem suspiciously fictional (but, who am I to say?). What I like about this strange and slightly goofy zine is that I can't find anything about it online. There are no editors listed in the zine, and no contact information (website, social media, etc) included except for an email address for submissions if you're not willing to go to the bar. I kind of like how ephemeral it feels, like something I would just pick up from a bench in a library or dentist's office or something, enjoy, and leave behind for the next person to encounter.
by Chelsea Martin Universal Error, February 2012 32 pages, stapled
If you're a Seinfeld fan, you need to check this out ASAP. I'm not sure if "Kramer Sutra" would be considered a book or a zine, but I love it so much I am going to call it a zine so I can include it in this project. The collection explores Kramer's thoughts and feelings, delving deep into his history/backstory/psyche. It's part fan-fiction and part analysis. Everything Martin has written here feels 100% true to my own understanding of Kramer—an often misunderstood but cherished character. Reading this little book was like accessing new/unreleased episodes of a television show I love. I can't help but share my favorite chapter (ON WEDDINGS—inspired, no doubt, by episode 163 "The Slicer"), which made me laugh out loud:
"At a wedding reception, Kramer is put in charge of the meat slicer. Kramer slices the meat so thin that no one can see it, and he brags about this feat. Guests succumb to this social pressure by pretending to pick up slices of turkey, and pretending to chew and swallow them. Later, the guests pretend to pick up slices of ham, and then pretend to chew and swallow that."
by Se'mana Thompson 13 pages
"Queer Indigenous Girl" is a zine by Se'mana Thompson featuring writing, poetry, art, and mixed media on topics like mental & chronic illness, disability, QTPoC & 2-Spirit, indigenous culture & identity, parenthood, and more. I purchased a digital copy and printed it out in black and white to carry around with me, but I definitely recommend printing your copy in color or reading online because Se'mana is an amazing artist (Instagram proof). The zine is mostly handwritten with accompanying drawings and collage elements. I really enjoyed the zine, particularly a selection of relaxing mantras in the health section. It was refreshing to learn about some new-to-me cultures that Se'mana is a member of (Akimel Otham/Diné/Hopi, among others) and always important to support the work of QWOC. Making her extra awesome: Se'mana edits "Black Indigenous Boy," a zine by two black O'Otham brothers (Se'mana's sons) that features art, comics, and mental health tips.
ATTN: Zine submissions for issue 2 of "Queer Indigenous Girl" are open for one more day (September 26). Se'mana will be bringing the next issue to the PHX Zine Fest on October 23. Go to mysterygirl-moongirl.tumblr.com/submit or email atMissSemee[at]gmail[dot]com.
Contributors: Adam Atkinson, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Zachary Harris, Ben Pelhan, Anne Marie Rooney, S.E. Smith OH NO Books, June 2013 59 pages, stapled
Three years ago I met the poets of Line Assembly, who were visiting my Pennsylvania town for a workshop and reading on their tour. They gave me my very first zine. It was the first time I realized that poetry could build community and I needed to get out of my house and connect in order to become a better writer and person. They were so inspiring to me, and part of why I put so much energy into building The Triangle and our new project FEAR NO LIT. This is a zine that should be read by every aspiring poet—one that brings me back time and time again when I feel like I've forgotten how to write. Topics covered include how to approach others, why you should copy, how to host events (including step by step instructions on how to start a reading series), advice on journaling/writing letters/using libraries, and ruminations on reading, snacks, writing groups, rejection, and more. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The zine is written collaboratively by six different poets (with no indication of who has written which entries), so the perspectives and voices are varied. Each contributor weaves in their own personal experiences. It's a primer for poets. It inspires me. It is one of my favorite things.
"You might wonder why we're distributing this as a zine instead of a traditional bound book, or a website for that matter. But the thing is that zines—portable, read-anywhere-able, handmade, off-the-grid, DIY zines—are a lot like poetry. They're kind of public and kind of private, about the shapeshift, reflecting the nature of the person who made them."
Editor: Jamila Zahra Felton Editor: Jess Solomon Art Director, Designer, Editor: Hadiya Williams Contributors: Yodith Dammlash, Margaux Delotte-Bennett, LeConté Dill, Jamila Zahra Felton, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Javetta Laster, Tsedaye Makonnen, Maneo Mohale, Barbara L. W. Myers, Cantrice Janelle Penn, Ada Pinkston, Jess Solomon, Christina Springer, Sarah T., Tamara Wellons, Hadiya Williams July 2016 15 pages, hand-stitched with waxed linen thread
"Sally Hemings Dreams" explores the conscious and unconscious thoughts of women of African descent who experienced slavery in the Americas. Sarah "Sally" Hemings (1773-1835) was a slave owned by President Thomas Jefferson, who most believe to have fathered six of her children. Through poetry, photography, and art, the contributors respond to/reflect on the interior lives of Black women and the connections between past and future selves. The poems are powerful and the art is given equal footing—not just there to illustrate the text but to speak on its own terms. The zine is beautifully designed (layout, typography, etc), with full-color images. Two pages are set in white type on a black background—something I haven't seen in a lot of other zines but is very striking. All proceeds from the sale of the zine go to Thrive DC’s Women in New Directions Program (WIND), designed to assist women who have been recently incarcerated and/or released from jail or prison.
Editors/curators: Cameron Crowell & Ciara Dolan Contributors: Ciara Dolan, Harrison Smith, Sierra Adler, Journey Fetter, Emily VanKoughnett, Fiona Woodman, Nathan Tucker, Cameron Crowell, Hannah Turner-Harts, Eric Snyder, Caitlin Degnon, Anya Walker, Sioux Falls, Cool American, Alien BoySpring 2016 30 pages, stapled
Witch Haus aims to cover the independent core of Pacific Northwest culture. Issue 3 is loosely themed as the "Movement" issue, featuring poetry, fiction, album reviews, photographs, and essays written by over 12 contributors. My favorite pieces bookend the zine—Ciara Dolan's "Life Looks Like This" and Fiona Woodman's "Google Lyf"—however, what sets this zine apart are a couple of sections that I haven't encountered before. The first is a full-color photography spread featuring images from bands Sioux Falls, Cool American & Alien Boy. Witch Haus PDX gave them disposable cameras to take along on their late winter tours. The zine presents a few photo highlights and directs readers to a full gallery on the Witch Haus PDX blog. Another unique section features a letter from Eric Snyder of Live Again, a Portland non-profit focused on starting conversations that strengthen communities, increase wellness, and reduce suicides. Snyder addresses readers personally, sharing their own experiences with depression and anxiety and encouraging others to reach out for help. The facing page is a collection of resources including crisis help hotlines, clinic information, and a note about counseling. I really enjoyed the variety of work in this zine, and the addition of self-help resources really made it stand out.