This past May I left New York for Philadelphia. Before officially moving, I tabled with For the Birds distro at the Brooklyn Zine Fest in April. It was there that I met Sarah Rose of Once Upon a Distro and organizer of the Philly Feminist Zine Fest. We talked for some time. I told her I’d be moving to Philadelphia, and she told me about the upcoming feminist zine fest. To say hearing this was a comfort would be an understatement; for me, feminist organizing is not an amenity, but a necessity.
Being in Philly now, it’s amazing how it feels infinitely good, but not surprising, to see such productiveness and creativity in a new place with new people. New Yorkers, by and large, forget that there are worthwhile things happening outside of the five boroughs. But still. Coming across such motivation and camaraderie in other corners of the world creates a glow in the chest, a glimmer of hope.
Sarah Rose, along with Taryn Hipp, Jen King and Kristen Asher are the ladies behind the Philly Feminist Zine Fest. They’ve work diligently over the past few months to organize the event, and I was given the chance to interview Taryn and Sarah to gain some insight into their inspiration and process. The fest will be held on Sunday, August 26th from 12 – 5 at the William Way Community Center (1315 Spruce Street). Tablers at the fest include Amy Leigh of TwelveOhTwo distro, Ramsay Beyer, Riot Grrrl Philly, Jenna Freedman of the Barnard Zine Library, and our own distro here at For the Birds, among many more. Workshops include “Decriminalizing Sex” by Project SAFE, “Soapbox Alternative Zine Structure” by the Soapbox, “How to be an Ally to Sex Workers” by members of SWOP and PERSIST Health Project, and “Putting the Pain to Paper: Writing about the Tough Stuff,” presented by myself and Kathleen McIntyre! There will also be a slew of raffle prizes, and much more! PFZF will also serve as a fundraiser for Project SAFE, a Philadelphia-based organization dedicated to providing health, safety and survival services to sex workers. You can find out more about PFZF here.
Be sure to come say hi at the For the Birds distro table and take part in our workshop, “Putting the Pain to Paper: Writing about the Tough Stuff” from 3 PM to 4PM! We will explore writing as a tool for processing painful experiences such as grief, illness, loss, and trauma. We will discuss the psychological impact of writing and self-publishing on both individuals and communities and explore why and how it can help us heal. Together we will do a writing exercise and provide ideas to help you engage with your own writing process. We’ll also highlight the specific zines and books that we think exhibit a good job of tackling the “tuff stuff” as inspiration.