“What the heck is a zine?” & Other Questions

We’ve gotten several questions about our call for poetry submissions for the zine “The Politics of Shelter.” These questions include “What the heck is this?” and “What the heck is a zine?”

Eventually, our new micropublishing project Brackish Daughters will have its own website, but until then, I’m putting this Q&A up here on my own blog. The number of submissions we’ve received is in the double digits and spans multiple countries. If you haven’t sent us your poems yet, we’d love to read them! The deadline is fast approaching: July 15th, 2018.

Thinking about submitting poems? Here’s the Q&A, the Q-to-Z

What is a zine?

Wikipedia defines a zine as “a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier.” For our purposes, a zine is essentially a chapbook, but has a more DIY (do-it-yourself) aesthetic and ethos. Zines are part of a rich self-publishing history in punk, queer, feminist, and other communities (check out the Wikipedia entry for “zine” to learn more). Before the internet, zines were a way of self-publishing and distributing information that was not widely available. In other words, a zine may be similar to a chapbook, but it comes from a different literary tradition. Brackish Daughters 1: The Politics of Shelter will be a print chapbook-style poetry anthology zine produced on a photocopier, sewn or stapled in our living room, and distributed through the US Postal Service.

What will be its name?

The name of this zine is Brackish Daughters 1: The Politics of Shelter. Brackish Daughters is a new micropublishing literary enterprise run by myself and my partner. I have self-published chapbooks and anthologies before, but this zine is our first experiment as Brackish Daughters.

Is this a fundraiser?

While we would love to raise money for many urgent causes through this zine (and hope to do so through future projects), we don’t expect to make any money off of Brackish Daughters 1: The Politics of Shelter. We expect to pay out-of-pocket for contributor shipping costs and other expenses.

How do you plan to distribute it?

The idea for Brackish Daughters arose after we moved from Milwaukee to Miami. We’re interested in what it might mean to bring together writers and other artists across geography. Because contributors will be spread across multiple cities, we will not have a release reading, but we will be mailing multiple copies to each contributor so that they can share the zine with their friends. We are also planning to be in touch with bookstores. Feel free to contact us if you have a connection to a bookstore that might be interested in carrying Brackish Daughters 1: The Politics of Shelter. The zine will be available online for a small fee (probably $3-5) and we will promote it through multiple channels. This is our first experiment as Brackish Daughters. We want to establishing creative ways to distribute the zine and celebrate the work of its contributors. Your ideas are welcome.

(Creative Commons image is courtesy of A Small Cinema on Flickr)

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