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."