Next up to bat for our rad zinester interviews is Nyxia Grey! After you’ve read Nyxia’s responses, you can check out their zines over at their Etsy shop or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.
I am a research librarian and the zine librarian at a small liberal arts college for women. I write a perzine called “Everything.is.Fine.” which addresses feminism, body politics, eating disorders and recovery, taking up space, sexual consent, grief, and other ramblings from my life. I also create collages, write poetry and short stories, make magickal candles, and construct jewelry made from Salem, MA beach glass. I am active in the Violence Prevention and Educational Outreach community at the college, work closely with Sociology and Women and Gender Studies students, lead a zine group called “To the Front” that focuses on craftivism and zines, and do workshops around campus on the power of zines.
How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
I was first introduced to zines around 1993 with the zine “The I hate Brenda Newsletter” by Deborah Romeo. It totally blew my mind that someone (a girl!) could write what they felt and disseminate it. I started my own zine called “Smashed Louie” junior year of high school and was promptly suspended from school senior year for disseminating it. All this experience really did was prove to me that not only were zines powerful, but that a girl’s voice could institute change. I have been creating zines on and off since that time.
What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
Feminism is in everything I do and create. ‘Feminist zine-making’ for me is the creation of space where feminists (all genders) can feel safe and inspired to discuss and explore the world around them, to produce work that reflects all forms of protest against the patriarchy and –isms, and also to provide an avenue for gender equality to flourish. It might start simply in print but my dream is that one day soon that ink will bleed over into the physical world around us.
What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
Pinning down a favorite zine is like asking me what my favorite song is! It cannot be done. My current ‘favorite’ totally depends on where my headspace is at. Some zines that have really impacted my life in a positive way are “ANAlog: dispatches of d.i.y. anorexia recovery” by Ponyboy Violet, “Brainscan 21: irreconcilable differences” by Alex Wrekk, “Piece #6: on commuting” by Nichole, and “All I Want is Everything” by Caitlin.
The zines I most enjoy reading are perzines simply because I like the intimate connection that is formed between creator and reader. It is such a unique experience that is only really found in this medium. I know firsthand that you can literally read your way to healing by stepping into these intimate written spaces.
If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
The first thing that came to mind was my Soda Stream. I like taking something and infusing it with my own creativity to make it something different. Not necessarily better but enhanced, hyped up, jazzed. I approach my writing and collage work in this way. How can I take an idea, a thought, a feeling, and amp it up so that it has more power, more of an impact. How can I turn this into frizzante that compliments all that I represent.
Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?
Jenna Freedman, Kate Larson, Emma Karin, and Joyce Hatton. The zines produced by their zinesters have been used in a few of the classes I do workshops for in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. It will be rad to finally meet them.