Whilst researching the zine scene, I’ve noticed there seems to be a distinct lack of literary and poetry zines being produced, which pains me as they are my primary loves. It seems odd, as the popularity of the zine owes a lot to the short, self-published books of poetry and prose by the beat generation, known commonly as “chapbooks”. These enabled anyone to distribute their work without the aid of a publisher, which would sometimes be impossible with the strict censorship and decency laws of the time. This D.I.Y spirit is the driving force of the zine community today, but the focus has shifted onto more visual outputs; inevitable with modern printing capabilities and the vast amount (and talent) of illustrators and graphic designers involved in the scene.
There was a lot of interesting points raised during a recent meeting with The Poetry Society, one being the difference between publishing online on a personal blog, and being part of a publication with a bigger picture. Whilst promoting the Pitch In & Publish series of events, I’m hoping writers in particular get involved, as bookleteer has a lot of potential for those who may not be blessed with a wealth of design skills or self-publishing know-how, and being featured in the collaborative zines produced should definitely build budding writers confidence.