Where You From? / by Hope A

With everything that has been going on in Ferguson and in cities all over the country, it has been hard to sit and write about zines and postcards. I've been watching the news, reading, and trying to find constructive things to say.  And sometimes I've just been angry and sad.  But the work to do in this country is ongoing and so while it becomes  less in the forefront in my mind, I work to keep these struggles part of my every day conversation, while talking about the things I make too.

When I moved to Baton Rouge, LA six years ago, I was struck by how many people I met who were from Louisiana, from Baton Rouge and other smaller towns.  I had been living in big cities most of my life, leaving my home state at 20 and even then, I had moved twice within that state.  I become interested in the ideas about why people leave their home towns and why they stay.  I wanted to explore the benefits of leaving a place when you've outgrown it and the benefit of staying rooted in one place.  In 2 issues, I asked friends and acquaintances, many from Louisiana, to write about their experiences. This comprised the first 2 issues of Where you from?

Then 2 years ago I moved to Oakland after spending 6 months in Italy.  I had a bunch of ideas to connect, from traveling with my sister in Sicily, talking with my grandmother about her parents home towns in Sicily, moving out west with my partner, who had lived in Baton Rouge his whole life. I thought I would have a new zine soon--I've sketched out a huge project in my head, with maps and letterpress printing and so the project is still just ideas.  I got so stuck on that project that it's been years since I've made a new issue.  So here it is. 

I wanted to make a zine with the instant book form because it offers a great structure for telling two sides of a story.  And it meant I could letterpress print some for fun while still digitally printing affordable copies.  I chose to write about leaving places I've lived and returning. 

It was harder than I realized to write these. When I was done, I slept for a week and they sat on my computer, waiting to be turned into files to become plastic plates to print.  They are short, and the form thwarts my proclivity for run on sentences.  But here it is: one sheet of paper, ten stories.  Mostly about New Hampshire and New Orleans. One or two you may have heard before , maybe not. but now they are in print in a copy that fits in your pocket.

*****Did you want a copy? They are all available in my etsy store and if you live in the Bay Area, I'll be at the EBABZ this Saturday with a table full of stuff. And if you want to hear me read from it along with a bunch of other great zine writers including artnoose, come to the EBABZ reading this Thursday here. Phew.

Take care of each other ok?