From the Stacks: September 7, 2007

September 7, 2007


| September 2007


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.

The unconventional stories featured in Geneva13 make for entertaining reads,whether or not you've heard of the zine's small hometown of Geneva, New York. Art, comics, poetry, photography, and short stories liven up the local zine's debut issue, which boasts a clean layout and first-rate writing. Kevin Dunn and Doug Reilly, the driving forces behind Geneva13, put their genre's culture on full display, publishing an engaging zine history by Anne Elizabeth Moore. Moore, the former publisher of Punk Planet, traces the evolution of zines from sci-fi to punk to Riot Grrrl and beyond. The strength behind this publication may prove to be the diversity of its contributors: 'Geneva13 is a love song,' writes Reilly in the intro, '. . . and I hope we can get as many people as we can to work on the lyrics.'? For more information, contact them at geneva13 [at] gmail [dot] com. -- Danielle Maestretti

The Summer issue of the literary quarterly American Short Fiction features two very different stories about bears. Benjamin Percy's 'When the Bear Came' chronicles a shiftless young man who finds purpose in stalking a bear he blames for mauling two young hikers and ransacking his mother's clothing. In 'Winter Memories of the Summer Bear,' by Kimberly Willardson, the winner of the magazine's new fiction contest, a woman tries to conquer her midlife crisis by befriending a retired circus bear. Non-bear-related contributions include standout pieces about insomniac orphans and gunfights in Northern Ireland. -- Brendan Mackie

A whimsical magazine for foodies, Burnt toast arrives in our library from Ottawa, filled with easy-to-read culinary-inspired articles and reviews. The Fall issue's cover feature, 'Cheese, the Accidental Miracle,' made my mouth water with its descriptive reviews of fine cheeses from Europe and Canada. Also in the issue, editor Cindy Deachman's 'The Plate Makes the Food ' covers the creative work of the Canadian-based Japanese ceramist HiDe Ebina, an artist who points out that the plate is often as important as the food in his native culture's cuisine. -- Julie Dolan
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Since its first issue in 1969, the Match!, a zine covering 'ethical anarchism,' has been published the old-fashioned way: without the use of computers. Editor and publisher Fred Woodworth's quixotic typesetting and printing lends the Match! a 1950s look. The zine parses current events in the United States with erudition, research, and humor, all while fighting against religious and governmental authoritarianism. In the essay 'Scenes from the Collapse,' Paul Roasberry looks to the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson as a justification for anarchism and laments America's quick downward slide toward authoritarianism. On the issue's back page, Woodworth points out that, 'It is easier, in fact, to score hard drugs on the street' than it is to find the Match!. Luckily, unlike most drugs, subscriptions to the publication are free. -- Eric Kelsey

AngryToothAn emotional cartoon molar named Jesus and his pierced girlfriend Juanita star in the Angry Tooth, a charming zine by artist J. Swank. The story begins with the pair happily celebrating Juanita's birthday, but, as the zine's title implies, the frolicsome tale takes a sour turn. Jesus tries a bit too hard to impress Juanita, and he ends up failing miserably. Eight single-sided pages are all J. Swank needs to tell this vibrant story about the relationship foibles and pitfalls of two small yet expressive teeth. -- Bennett Gordon