Utne Reader's library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500 magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights (and occasional lowlights) of what's landing in our library each week in 'From the Stacks.' Check in every Friday for the latest edition.
Mouth Magazine, the 'Voice of the DisLabeled Nation,' keeps readers briefed on the state of disability rights. True to its title, Mouth provides space for people to share their experiences and gives a strong voice to members of the disability rights movement. Combined issues #95 and #96 focus on 'the miracle in New Mexico' -- namely, the success of activists in convincing Gov. Bill Richardson to sign the Money Follows the Person Act -- legislation that lets people move from institutions to community facilities without losing state support. There's also 'testimony' from New Mexicans discussing their experiences in nursing homes and institutions. Mouth is activism-focused, with every issue including dispatches from protests and court cases. -- Danielle Maestretti
Zinesters have an undying need to create, a meticulous appreciation for details, a strong sense of independence, and a refined love of paper, free copies, and glue-sticks. But most notably, zinesters -- and the zines they make -- are vastly varied in character, interests, and style. A Hundred Dollars and a T-Shirt: A Documentary about Zines in the Northwest US shows the faces behind these labors of love -- substitute teachers, moms, riot grrls, fisherwomen, and bikers -- ruminating on the phenomenon that is 'the zine.' What are zines? What are their origins? Most notably, whymake one? If you don't leave this zippy, gritty, and inspiring film with a desire to make your own zine, you'll at least leave with a deep, newfound appreciation of the medium. I left with both. -- Elizabeth Oliver
I must admit, the November issue of Salt Lake City's Catalyst is one of the more diverse independent free monthlies I've gotten my hands on. In its pages you'll find a spotlight on 86-year-old White House press corps reporter Helen Thomas, a trip back to the introduction of psilocybin ('magic mushrooms') into American counterculture, and a peek at a new local play confronting gay suicide -- a serious concern in Utah. Also inside: Amy Brunvand asks where the dancing Republicans are, and Lucy Beale sounds off on the don'ts of eating and dieting. What's nice about Catalyst is that though it brims with local advertisements, the writing is more far-reaching. -- Rachel Anderson
New Jersey might be easy to overlook on a map, but City Belt, a new Jersey City independent news source, is getting noticed. Since City Belt launched its monthly print edition in September, New York Indypendent has picked up one of its stories and another has been followed up by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Says City Belt co-founder Jon Whiten, 'There are so many stories here that have gone untold -- from the notorious political corruption and environmental malfeasance to the flourishing independent music scene -- and we plan to fill that need.' For example: In the October issue, Shane Smith looks at why New Jersey is the only state that does not give intravenous drug users legal access to clean needles. -- Evelyn Hampton
Psychotherapy Networker, 'The Magazine for Today's Helping Professional,' will likely appeal even to those outside the field. In the November/December issue, Michael Ventura muses on the obsession with the 'now' in 'Appointments With Yourself.' Capturing the present is as simple as appreciating it for what it is -- satisfying, poignant, or difficult -- rather than chasing after the ever-passing now. Ventura also addresses the memories that may cloud our experience of the present moment, as even sweet memories can leave us with wrenching feelings of loss. He advises readers to let the 'ghosts' go by wishing them well and accepting all that has happened between then and now. This interesting and inspiring piece is but one of many in the publication. -- Suzanne Lindgren