Episode 95: Ethel Zine and Micropress

Recorded on Thursday, October 27, 2022


I speak with Sara Lefsyk, Ethel’s publisher.

We Are Hopelessly Small and Modern Birds published by Black Lawrence Press in 2018.

We discuss our tea. Sara: cinnamon spice; me – Irish Breakfast. We talk about the press’s beginnings and Sara’s process of sewing and binding the work and how depression and anxiety play a role in her work.

We talk about the covers, which are colourful with buttons, sequins, material, art, handmade paper.

We talk about early chapbook influences and the joy of chapbooks.

We discuss the zines/journals, which came before the chapbooks.

I read the description of Ethel in the back of one of the journals.

We talk about designing covers, and the issues of the journal.

We discuss the mini-chapbooks.

We talk about small press fairs such as the Philly Zine Fest: https://www.phillyzinefest.org/

We discuss the subscription service: full – $100; half – $50.

I ask Sara to offer advice to those thinking of starting a small press.

Sara gives a list of Ethel’s current and forthcoming publications.

Note of Praise

Ethel Zine and Micropress’s  handstitched covers are colourful and inviting. The handbound books are tactile. The press is a welcome space for marginalized writers and has a queer and feminist focus. When reading the zines and chapbooks, I enjoyed the variety of styles, which ranges from translation and language play to surrealist prose poems. I also love the sense of whimsy of the press. The work published is delightful and serious. I’m impressed with the level of work and commitment of the publisher.

Thanks to Sara for being on the show, to Jennifer Pederson for the intro and outro, to Charles Earl for processing and to you for listening to and sharing the episodes each month.

Stay tuned for future episodes with Hem Press in 2022, plus another episode in our ongoing poetics series in December, and a whole new thread I’ll announce later for 2023.