Following on from last November's zine fair at Wimbledon Library, which was held in a cosy nook, by a magnificent Victorian tiled fireplace and bayview window, it felt really fortunate to be encouraged by the friendly staff at Putney Library to take over their brilliant gallery space in the middle of the library. They were very helpful indeed! And our event succeeded a visit by Tom Vague, the 1970s/80s punk fanzine/music writer and historian, which was a force of inspiration.
The supplies from Wandsworth Fringe were very generous - glossy programmes to advertise the festival, including our event plus an assortment of balloons. We were also invited to various events in the lead up to the festival in order to meet organisers and fellow artists - help was also constantly on hand by email if we needed it too.
Go and visit her distro, which is a bounteous place indeed!
Another zine writer, Jo, joined Nina from Belgium, and her zines were for sale on the day too - mainly perzines, including an exploration of the voice (what does it mean to have a voice?), as well as a mini comic about recent events in Belgium, where they'd been holed up indoors for safety while the Metro was shutdown all over the city.
It was great to see the odd punk turn up, and to see a younger strain of visitor to the library (people in their 20s under-use libraries in the UK, it's been reported, sadly).
One of the highlights was a visit by the by-now notrious stand-up poet Michael J. Weller (meant in fun, he's a gentle and excellent sort of person, and a regular to SW Zines events).
We also experienced impromptu stand-up poetry by a lady adorned in giant sunflowers. She had many a late night pub tale to tell, she was full of life and humour. She seemed genuinely bowled over to have discovered our little zine event - to turn our pages, read what we are about, and to have the space to feel like being herself, to feel inspired and be lent our courage to offer her work publicly. It was great to meet her and hear her speak her words - amazing, unexpected, what zine events are surely all about !
Above is the zine-like collage of enlarged and re-printed snippets of zine works by Fliss Collier. Shoeboxes of pen pal letters, old photos, diaries, sketches, notes and whatnot had been raided - to lend an idea of her history with zines dating back to 1996.