Zine Review: Seawitch #10


 Perzine, Clementine Morrigan, #10, clementinemorrigan.com, $3 including shipping in Canada/$4 international


seawitchContent Warning: The zine includes discussion of incest, sexual violence, childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, physical violence, gender feels, drinking, drug use, addiction, alcoholism, blackouts, psych wards, suicide attempt, 12 step recovery, sex, body image stuff, rape fantasies, masturbation, bdsm, estrangement, court, police, medical procedure, academia.

Clementine Morrigan continues their deeply personal yet relatable diarist series Seawitch in this tenth installment with their typically graceful, honest, and candid prose. As in previous issues, the author takes up difficult and traumatic personal experiences, sharing their process of healing and recovery, survivorship and self-discovery.

Spanning a range of ideas, including the healing powers of animals and nature, a multifaceted and trauma-informed take on personal identity, and navigating grad school as a disabled assault survivor, this volume takes the reader on an intimate and jarring journey that is nevertheless hopeful. It tells a personal tale of struggle and, more importantly, survival.

One of the most memorable pieces in this zine is the story of Morrigan’s journey from an alcoholic teen-hood to a sober adulthood, paired with a complex and personal critique of intoxication culture and an insight into the mental health issues which intersect with heavy substance use. They are nonjudgmental, believing it is possible to have a full life in sobriety, and affirming that “if you are struggling you are not alone.” The piece encompasses the qualities that set Morrigan’s work apart: their complete baring of the soul, their trust in the reader to hold such difficult realities in their head and hands, and their refusal to claim anyone’s story but their own.

The work is an incredibly difficult but rewarding read. It provides you with an understanding of the writer’s experience, as well as the feeling of being understood. (Nicole Partyka)