Interview with a Zinester: Kate Angell!

Interview with a Zinester: Kate Angell!
We’re resurrecting our Interview with a Zinester series to get you pumped up for this year’s Fest! Check out this interview with the lovely, Kate Angell.

A lovely red-headed Kate Angell hugs a white labrador in front of trucks.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

I’m an academic research librarian and split my writing time between journal articles about library instruction and zines mostly about artists whose work has transformed my life. Zines play a pretty big role in both my personal and professional lives. I have experience starting zine collections at academic libraries and am currently making a zine about college level research for students that I teach. My most recent zine is a psychobiography of the musician Nico, a complex and complicated person whose voice, words, and harmonium jolt and lull me. I also consider this zine the product of some of my finest research and writing. My next zine will probably be a split zine about Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, because they’re my sisters of the moon and I want to be with them everywhere.

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?

In college I dated someone who made zines and had also amassed an impressive collection of zines. I remember looking through a huge pile of her zines and feeling really enthralled, especially by the zines with Riot Grrrl inspired themes. I was hooked from this moment on, although it would be several years before I created my own zine. The biggest influence on my zinemaking has come from Riot Grrrl fandom and culture. In 2009 I had the privilege of helping to process Kathleen Hanna’s zine archive, an experience which greatly inspired me artistically and in general. I’m also very inspired by NYCFZF organizer Elvis Bakaitis- this talented zinester/comic artist’s series “Homos in Herstory” is brilliant! Elvis created the covers and additional art for almost all of my zines.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

I refrained from making zines for quite some time because I didn’t consider myself talented enough to produce these artifacts. Writing has always been one of my strengths, but I was pretty intimidated by making such a creative object, particularly the layout and illustrations. For me the moment I engaged in feminist zinemaking was when I stopped being afraid of these thoughts and shelved my self doubts in favor for artistic freedom and expression. My own experience as a feminist zinester is harnessing the courage and empowerment to translate my thoughts into action, with the hope that my zine(s) will bring a spark of magic or empathy to another person’s day.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

My all time favorite zine is Bikini Kill #2, my copy is pretty tattered from years of consultation! Also, everything I’ve ever read by Cindy Crabb has been beautiful and I wish every teenager was automatically given a copy of at least one of her zines.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

Does a spork count as a kitchen appliance? I enjoy how they’re both creative and wildly practical at the same time, two traits which I wish to see my zines embody. Plus, I bring a spork to work every single day for my lunch so this item is generally present when I’m working on zine related projects in my office.

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

You know, I haven’t been to many zine fests in the past couple years, so a lot of the names on your blog are new to me, which is exciting! Stephanie Basile is a longtime friend and we actually met eight years ago through her zine Suburban Blight, so I’m delighted to read its new issue! I work at a university with strong health sciences programs, so I’m really looking forward to checking out Anna Melton’s zine about becoming a nursing assistant- and I’m intrigued by the title of Sarah McCarry’s zine Glossolalia.

Stay tuned for more!


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