Back and Forth (a negotiation)
Sonali Menezes of Glittering Magpiee
What makes a litzine? How is it different from a chapbook or a novella? And how do zines and self-publishing create new openings and opportunities for writers to experiment?
These are complicated questions, and we welcomed submissions in this category that challenged our expectations about where these different approaches intersect. Some had images, some had text only, and many were carefully bound and lovingly made.
In the winning zine, Back and Forth (a negotiation) by Sonali Menezes, the poem “Deferred” muses, “to hold / a contradiction like a cup of cold coffee in / palms nearing cracked lips and if / potatoes grow arms in the darkness / of drawers I could try to / regurgitate your laughter.”
This blend of fleeting, evocative images with echoes of motion, fast and slow, becomes the zine’s thematic container. But the content also elaborates the edges of Menezes’ political and personal identities.
“The zine felt like a short yet powerful punch at colonialism and the realities of diaspora life for brown people in North America,” said Zine Awards judge Monica Trinidad. “Sonali’s writing made me feel like the ‘negotiation’ was reaching a breaking point, and I could feel the pressure building up.”
“I’m pretty self-conscious about my poetry. I make myself a lot more vulnerable and I share aspects of myself rather candidly which I haven’t done through other forms of art-making,” said Menezes. “A zine made this process of sharing my poems with the world for the first time a lot less intimidating!”
“The wonderful thing about zines is that your ideas can be rough, half-formed, still evolving, and you can share it anyways, zines don’t need to be precious,” she adds.
// LITZINE FINALISTS //
The Story of the Orca’s Silver Tongue
as Told by the Manager of the Only Taco Bell in Juno
Nina Budabin McQuown and Laura Stinson
The Eyes of The Chest
Kate Folk and Tobias Goodshank
(Brooklyn, New York)
(Langley, British Columbia)
Just Another Self-Portrait