2023-09-28: zines

during the pandemic i started publishing; i mean, i started putting things out myself. in the literary world, there's a tradition of small press activity. in the 50s and 60s, people got ahold of mimeographs, and then into the 70s and 80s, as photocopiers got less expensive (well, maybe not the machines themselves, but their access & use), people started putting things out using those too.

then in the coming decades: home printing, both laser and ink. more esoteric and traditional methods, too: stamping, lithography, etc.

(i'm completely not even mentioning the internet and electronic publishing!)

each press is unique, has its own aesthetics and process. some produce very crisp, professional-feeling products, printed and bound at the print shop. some work off photocopying and manual folding and stapling. during the pandemic i started publishing, and i mean, i started putting things out myself. the first item was a little anthology, and one of the poets, an israeli poet, referred to it as a zine.

i was sort of stopped by this, because while i don't think it's correct, i also don't think it's wrong, either. the feel is very handmade: printed at home on my old brother b&w laser printer, stapled with my long-arm stapler, carefully folded, the crease sharpened with a bone folder.

not the professional, perfect-produced feel of other presses, but not rough-photocopied and stapled, either. somewhere between? and anyway, now almost three years since i started doing this. i just put out another item a few days ago. i've got the next one lined up for early next year. i've still never published myself (some small presses skate fairly close to self-publishing). i don't know if i ever will. i'm just happy to be giving back. providing an outlet. a showcase. to ride this as far as my energy and other peoples' interest takes it.