Spirit, a lively new Canadian magazine put together by and for young Aboriginal people, made a splash with its premier edition, putting a young Indigenous family on the cover—in the nude. Spirit's articles on Native American hip-hop, erotica, and contemporary art are sure to challenge stereotypes. $20/yr. (4 issues) from Box 2, Parry Sound, ON, P2A 2X2, Canada; www.spiritmag.ca
Stop and Smell the Butter, a one-year-old hand-written and -illustrated zine, is devoted to sharing the spirit of joyful experience. Editor Colleen Newquist challenges readers of her “journal of appreciative living” to live more playfully, perhaps with help from her illustrated recipes and nicely detailed accounts of simple pleasures like walking in the country at night. $12/4 issues from 18429 Francisco Ave., Homewood, IL 60430
Down There Press, publishers of sex-related books that no one else dares touch, has two new titles worth noting: Martha Cornog's The Big Book of Masturbation: From Angst to Zeal (a compressive look at solo sex historically, cross-culturally, and even zoologically) and David Steinberg's Photo Sex: Fine Art Sexual Photography Comes of Age. For more info: 415/ 974-8985, x205; www.goodvibes.com/dtp/dtp.html
Spirituality and Sexuality is a networking newsletter for educators and others countering erotophobia. Each 24-page issue includes articles on topics such as Christian sexual morality, interviews with the likes of pop sexologist Annie Sprinkle, and information about events, businesses, and services that address the importance of integrating healthy sexuality into lives that are also spiritual and political. $18/yr. (4 issues) from Box 786, Westport, CT 06881, www.spiritualityandsexuality.com
The Match!, a caustic “journal of ethical anarchism” edited by Fred Woodworth, is now 100 issues old and lively as ever. The Match! is full of unfettered opinions and facts about police oppression, technology threatening privacy, and “crap-detection.” Each issue contains dozens of pages of letters (and Woodworth's responses) along with no-holds-barred reviews of alternative press publications. It's up to readers to sort it all out. Free (cash donations welcome) from Box 3012, Tucson, AZ 85702
Revolution, a bimonthly magazine published by the Center for Caregiver and Patient Advocacy (CCPA), offers direct-care nurses a collective voice. Each issue contains important articles about topics ranging from Gulf War illness to money-driven hospital restructuring, reports on union news, and international nursing news. The CCPA was founded in 1999 by the California Nurses Association. $30/yr. (6 issues) from Box 1930, Marion, OH 43306; www.revolutionmag.com
How to Support the Alternative Press
A reader writes, “Could you please give me some ideas on how to support the alternative press?” I can. As a longtime participant, observer, cataloger, collector, and disseminator of small-press publications, I think the best thing a person can do to support them is to subscribe to periodicals that you'd miss if they stopped publishing, and to buy books from small publishers, for yourself and as gifts.
This past year, three-time Utne Alternative Press Award winner Northern Lights ceased publication after a “help us continue” letter failed to garner enough financial support. The Spring 2003 issue of Whole Earth Review has yet to be printed, due to insufficient funds. Dozens of other important magazines continue on the thinnest of margins, many broadcasting calls for support.
Heed these calls. As Mary Sojourner writes in the July issue of Mountain Gazette, “There is more than one way to burn books. . . . There is fiery annihilation, and there is the long slow char of neglect. Northern Lights is gone. Not because of a match held in the hands of right-wing goons but by the failure to act on the part of many of its good readers.”
Here's what you can do: