Inspirational Creativity

I don’t know if kids even write zines anymore.

zines

Click here to read another WordPress blog about zines. This blog is about a hyper-local effort to stock a university library with zines (great idea!), but does go over the basics.

By kids I mean hormonal teenagers who need to express their angst at life and their innate knowledge of everything to anyone who will listen.

By zines I mean small, self-published magazines created by these kids. Zines allow them not only a necessary means of expression but also became a form of Americano creativity, at least in my world in the early 90s.

Growing up in Roanoke, I enjoyed the downtown scene. The Iroquois, the Market before they cleaned it up, Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea. The people I met inspired me by encouraging my need to emote.

We listened to music, sat on sidewalks, and drank lots of coffee. We shared stories of oppression at the hands of our parents and stories of heartbreak at the hands of our young lovers.

I don’t remember the first zine I read, but I recall a culture of writers and artists who did not fear self-publishing and self-distributing their original work. Zines could be found at shows and in record shops. Writers mailed their zines to friends in other towns and the little pieces of literature made their way from reader to reader. I chose to join their ranks and publish my own.

Poems ripped from my personal journal and typed in funky fonts and Microsoft Word Art filled the small pages. Not an artist, I added images from Clip Art and some freehand scribbling to break up the type. Formatted as a small flip book, I printed copy after copy of my zine, giving it to friends and fellow writers and mailing it to other kids across the country whose zine I had come across at some time.

To this day, when blogging is the new (if not always condoned by the sub-culture) form of self-publication, I look at the tattered copy of my first paper publication and find inspiration in the openness of it.

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  1. […] I published a zine and audio zine when I was 16. A reckless collection of poetry and journal musings about a boy (like many others) I should’ve never been into and my struggle against parental interference. Or, puppy love BS packaged in a grungy, edgy sort of way. Don’t know what a ‘zine is? I wrote about it once but never posted it, so here it is: “Inspirational Creativity.” […]



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