July 2, 2014

Round-Up: Philly Feminist Zine Fest

Behind the scenes at the Philly Feminist Zine Fest.

This past Saturday, feminist zinesters from the East Coast and beyond came to table at the Philly Feminist Zine Fest. The event took place at the Neighborhood House in Olde City, a historical area of Philadelphia complete with cobblestone streets and Betsy Ross's house. It's a unique feeling stepping into a feminist space: you can expect to feel safer and wholly included. As women writers and artists, we know how important it is to carve out our own space, which is why fests like these are so important not only to the work we produce but also to our creative well-being. Lucky for us, the surge of feminist zine fests have steadily increased over the last few years, due in part to the first NYC Feminist Zine Fest in 2012.

The atmosphere was charged with inspiration and warmth (in temperature and feelings). There were sweet treats and raffles of amazing zine packages and posi vibes galore. Tablers at the fest showcased zines of comics, feminist theory, oral history, poetry, perzines and plenty more. If I could give a complete and thorough recap of every amazing zine at the Philly Feminist Zine Fest, I surely would, but then I'd keep you here all day. You've got other things to do, like make your own amazing zine, so here are a few of my favorites:


Liz Pelly came out from New York to table with The Media, our favorite alt-weekly inspired online publication! The Media compiled the zine Sister City: Writing on Girl Punk & Philadelphia as Previously Published in The Media just for the event, which includes writing by Liz Pelly, Jenn Pelly, Grace Ambrose and myself. They also had The Media-related zines in tow, including Defending Community Space by Katie Alice Greer and Disabled in DIY by Sean Gray.


You may recognize Katie Bennett from her intimate pop band Free Cake for Every Creature that we featured on THE LE SIGH earlier this month, but did you know that Katie also writes zines? Surprise! She does! Katie tabled with her perzine Sticking Around, which contains similar topics to her songs such as graduating college and moving forward. She also collaborated on a zine with her mother about their relationship with food called Eating Love. There were even cookies for sale that the two baked together! You can find out more about Katie and her work here


Hoax is a bi-annual queer feminist zine that analyzes topics regarding different kinds of feminism, and it's one of my favorites out there. Hoax is text heavy--something I personally prefer--but within the text are very smart and carefully written essays, poems and interviews regarding all types of women-identified experiences. The latest issue, Hoax #9, deals with feminisms and vulnerabilities, while upcoming Hoax #10 will address feminisms and embodiments. Submissions for Hoax #10-- feminisms and strategies--are open until September 30th! You can buy Hoax zines here.


The long-running Truckface zine was recently anthologized in It's Alright: A Truckface Anthology Volume 1 and 2 on Mend My Dress Press. LB, who has been writing zines since the early 90s, writes about awful jobs and awkward moments of her early years in the the first volume of It's Alright. More notably, in my opinion, is the eloquent and hilarious way she writes about her experience as a Chicago public high school teacher in the second volume. Hope is constantly vanishing and reappearing in her dedication to one of the most under-served school districts in the country. Her writing is flawless, with feelings of both heartbreak and joy about one of the most important, albeit challenging, professions. You can buy It's Alright: A Truckface Anthology here.

Learn more about other zines at Philly Feminist Zine Fest here.

Written by Cynthia Schemmer