Come say hi at zine fest and pick up a copy of “Tarantula Hawk Wasp,” my very first zine!
This one comes from my poetic inventory. These zines are tiny lyric essays about the tarantula hawk wasp. The poetic inventory is analogous to a “scientific inventory” of a location’s biodiversity, where field ecologists catalogue all of the flora and fauna present in the area. Unlike a scientific inventory, the works moves beyond a strictly literal cataloging; instead it explores the relationship between “wilderness and civilization,” human impact on designated nature zones/open space, and how wilds reemerge within the city.
I started making this zine to think through some of the issues of the poetic inventory that I have been working on. First I started making artists books out of some of the poems, then hammering others onto pieces of wood, turning some into small art projects, and really just experimenting with what a poem can be and how it can be communicated.I think that zines are incubators for ideas. They allow for experimentation, risk, and failure–and therefore growth.
It’s also important to note that playing with different materials and ideas has been a much more fun method of redrafting and revising. The most frustrating part has been finishing a small print run and finding a typo.
My exploration into autobiographix and essay comics continues!
More about zine Fest: ABQZF, now in its 7th year, is the oldest zine Fest in New Mexico. ABQZF is community-accountable and fosters a non-competitive, diverse, queer-friendly, creative environment for zinesters in the city of Albuquerque, and beyond. ABQZF is Woman of Color-founded, Ally-supported, Woman-run. Show up for the fun, Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Harwood Art Center, 1114 7th Street NW in Downtown Albuquerque.
This winter I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Sarah Minor, who curates the Visual Essay series at Essay Daily, previously featuring fantastic artist-essayists such as Kristen Radtke, Marian Bantjes, and Bianca Stone. As a part of this series, we spoke about concrete essays, place-based writing, selecting a medium, and editing as art.
You can read our conversation here: On Abstract Text and the Concrete Object.
We will be presenting together at the Nonfiction Now Conference later this spring. The other panelists on “The Kinetic Page in the U.S. and in Iceland: A Discussion and Performance of Multiform Nonfiction” include Sarah Minor, Kristen Radtke, Sarah Rose Nordgren, and Oddny Eir, so if you are headed to Reykjavik, I hope you will stop by!
I have an essay that has just been published in this neat anthology, Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet, which is edited by Julie Dunlap and Susan Cohen. The collection answers the question: what is it like to be a young adult (born between 1980-2000), growing up on a planet during a time of irreversible anthropogenic damage? As dire as the situation is–climate change, the evaporating Arctic, the implausibility of pristine wilderness–humans are resilient creatures. We have a far biological reach, which allows us to survive in a number of ecological niches. We’re a genus of tinkerers and inventors. Those traits coupled with our humanity–our ability to connect with one another, to laugh even during the worst hard times, to empathize deeply with people we’ve never met–means that we can have hope even in the face of an uncertain future. In my essay, “Urban Foraging,” I write about my time looking for food during the recession. One of the things that I noticed about this unpredictable time, was that whether in line at the food bank, sharing food stamps, or picking fruit from city trees, community persists and often develops around food. And because I’m an optimist, I’ve tried to be hopeful in this essay, so I hope that you will give it a read!