Displaying items by tag: weird literature

Wednesday, 08 February 2017 11:10

Here be Tygres - my life & fanzines

Here be Tygres – fanzines and my life underground

I’ve been thinking about the impact fanzines have made on my life – and the result is this blog! Enjoy…

For someone who really was a Teenager in Devon (the poem isn’t an exaggeration http://www.rosiegarland.com/news-and-events/item/53-i-want-to-be-a-teenager-in-devon.html ), it’s hard to overstate the impact on a fifteen-year old geek girl of a let-off-the-leash long weekend in London.

Mid 1970s. Mum sets a friend and me up in a vicarage beyond the twilight zone of the North Circular. Every morning we take two long bus journeys into central London. My mate smokes cigarettes and swills cider like any normal teenager. I haunt Dark They Were And Golden Eyed, Atlantis Bookshop and the innumerable second-hand bookshops around Soho. It’s a four-day sojourn in a tatty oasis for the starved mind and spirit. As well as the books and comics I expect, I also discover fanzines.

They flick an entirely different switch in my imagination.
I’ve been making magazines since I was a kid, but now see I’m not the only nerd in the world to spend evenings with glue and a stapler. Even more groundbreaking, the zines cover interests I’ve learnt to conceal in order to limit my bullied isolation: horror movies, vampires, sci-fi, punk, weird illustration, weirder literature. The Gothic, in short. For the first time in my life, I see myself reflected. I encounter an underground community of the imagination. I know I’ll never meet any of these fellow-weirdoes, but I am not alone.

I return to the mix of beauty and soul-death of rural Devon (miles north of the artsy bit around Totnes), grit my teeth, make it to 18 and escape. In my new home, Leeds, one of the first things I do is check out the 2nd-hand / radical bookshops (a tip ‘o the pen to Austicks & The Corner Bookshop). As well as reviews in mainstream music papers such as Sounds, Melody Maker & NME, I now feature in fanzines that interview my band The March Violets (eg Rendezvous, Attack on B-Zag, The Angels are Coming, Whippings & Apologies – best zine name ever IMHO). We even produce our own Violets zine. High production values, or handwritten, it doesn’t matter. It’s all part of the vibrant build-your-own record label / indie scene of the early 80s.

Another hiatus follows when I quit the UK to work in Sudan from 1984-1986. In 1987, semi-fanzine independents Shocking Pink & Spare Rib inspire my move to Manchester where I find a thriving LGBT scene. However, it soon becomes apparent that being a dyke AND a Goth is a step too far. I have no problem making the connections between goth, punk and post-punk, fetish, feminism, queer, vampires and weird literature but I’m damned if I can find a queer pal who’ll go to The Banshee with me. As for my penchant for leather trousers, the less said about that the better. I can come out, but not about everything. However, late 80s feminism is a different blog.

It seems I can still feel isolated in a massive city, and I learn what it’s like to be marginalised within a marginalised community. I need help, and once again find it in the fanzines of the late 80s / early 90s. One particular pleasure is Dominic Regan’s graphic Dom Zombi story in AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia ) which drew everything together so succinctly. Others include: For the Blood is the Life, Bats and Red Velvet, The Velvet Vampyre, Udolpho and early issues of Skin Two (produced on Tim Woodward’s kitchen table). Listings of penpals, society meetups and clubs provide me with a flesh & blood community, not simply one of the imagination. All of it pre-internet, off the map, under the radar. I even meet a bisexual Goth.

Jump cut to the present day.
I’m excited and encouraged by the rebirth / renaissance of Xeroxed, glue-and-collage, passed from hand-to-hand zines. There’s a fresh new family of folk learning the liberating impact of turning off search engines so your keystrokes can’t be tracked in order to tailor more bloody advertising into your feed. To quote Keith Lowell Jensen: “What Orwell failed to predict is that we'd buy the cameras ourselves, and that our biggest fear would be that nobody was watching” https://twitter.com/keithlowell/status/347741181997879297

Only last year I met a woman in Athens, Georgia, who knew my work because she’d come across Pink Bomb, a CD fanzine produced in Manchester by the radiant Ste McCabe . Our words don’t need wifi to span the globe. And if you can’t hold something in your hands, it doesn’t really exist.

Fanzines are still there when the battery runs out on your phone. When some yellow-haired dictator decides you can’t Google ‘that’ article any more. Fanzines can’t be deleted at the swipe of a button. So - Buy that ancient typewriter. Get stapling.

© Rosie Garland 2017‏

Published in News

News and Events

  • Royal Society of Literature - Fellowship
    Royal Society of Literature - Fellowship
    Royal Society of Literature Fellowship

     

    On 12th July 2023 I was made a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature! It was something I never imagined in a hundred years.

    It's a tremendous honour, & a testament to the quality of my writing. To say I am thrilled is a huge misunderstatement.

    https://rsliterature.org/fellows/rosie-garland/

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/jul/12/royal-society-of-literature-aims-to-broaden-representation-as-it-announces-62-new-fellows

    Written on Monday, 21 August 2023 09:12
  • Manchester City of Literature - Festival of Libraries 2023
    Manchester City of Literature - Festival of Libraries 2023

    Delighted to get the opportunity to talk to Manchester Festival of Libraries about the importance of libraries in my life!

    https://youtu.be/18VPl5qXvkM

    And there are many more –
    Watch all the short films featuring four accomplished Manchester creative practitioners who have worked closely with libraries over the course of their careers.

    Hear how libraries can support artists, writers, dancers, musicians and more to create original work, access valuable resources, gain practical support and inspire creativity.
    These films aim to highlight the rich creative diversity of our libraries, and pave the way for emerging artists to head to their local library for ideas and insight for their next big project.

    You can view all the films below.
    https://www.manchestercityofliterature.com/event/creatives-in-libraries/

    Written on Thursday, 22 June 2023 09:40
  • 'Because goddess is never enough' - a new film-poem!
    'Because goddess is never enough' - a new film-poem!
    ‘Because goddess is never enough’ – revealing the new film poem, made in collaboration with filmmaker Jane Glennie.

    Absolutely thrilled to announce this new film poem – created over 2021 in collaboration with amazing filmaker Jane Glennie. Inspired by the life of dancer and choreographer Tilly Losch, the film explores notions of erasure, strategies for persistence and the centrality of creative expression for the life of a woman in perpetual motion.

    We are delighted with the reception the film is receiving! A list of film festivals is below.
    AND there’s a ‘Book of the Film’!

    'Because Goddess is Never Enough (Peculiarity Press, 2022)
    Available from Blackwell’s (Waterstones, Amazon, etc)
    https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Because-Goddess-Is-Never-Enough-by-Rosie-Garland-Jane-Glennie/9781912384167

    Flick through the book here –
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/zzDN5KKbUccqPZsQ7

    Film festivals & events 2022 that have selected & featured 'Because Goddess is Never Enough'

    Moving Poems May 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected as one of ‘the best poetry films on the web’
    https://movingpoems.com/2022/05/because-goddess-is-never-enough-by-rosie-garland/

    Fringe Arts Bath Festival 27 May - 12 June 2022
    Bath’s annual free festival of visual arts
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected for WORDPLAY programme
    https://www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/festival-2022
    https://www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/wordplay

    Tranås at the Fringe International Arts Festival 2-9 July in Tranås, Sweden
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected for the LIVING FEMININITY programme.
    https://www.atthefringe.org/film-program-2022

    Women X Film Festival 2-4 September in Darlington, UK.
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' - Honourable Mention
    https://riannepictures.com/womenx

    Women Over 50 Film Festival
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – nominated for Best Experimental film, selected for the AT MY CORE programme
    https://wofff22.eventive.org/films/62e15892943cb70054a692d9
    https://wofff.co.uk/2022/08/wofff22-films-announced-find-out-more-about-our-fantastic-official-selections/

    Athens 10th International Video Poetry Festival 28 September - 1 October 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – screened 29th September within 'Feminist Struggles' programme
    https://theinstitute.info/?p=5226

    HOME Manchester, Filmed Up 28th September 2022
    ‘Because Goddess is Never Enough’ selected for Filmed Up programme.

    https://homemcr.org/event/filmed-up-sep-2022/

    The Feminist Film Festival, Bucharest, 13-16 October 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – Official Selection
    https://filmfreeway.com/TheFeministFilmFestival

    Sunderland Shorts Film Festival October 17th, 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – selected for the Art & Experimental Films programme
    https://filmfreeway.com/SunderlandShorts

    Zebra Poetry Film Festival, Berlin 3-6 November 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough'.
    We are very proud to be selected for Zebra, the oldest and largest international festival of poetry films.
    https://filmfreeway.com/ZEBRAPoetryFilmFestival
    https://www.haus-fuer-poesie.org/en/zebra-poetry-film-festival/home-zebra-poetry-film-festival/

    Still Voices Film Festival, Ireland 9-13 November 2022
    'Because Goddess is Never Enough' – Official selection Experimental
    https://stillvoicesfilmfestival.com/

    Written on Thursday, 29 September 2022 09:41
  • Sept 2022 - The March Violets announce 5 CD boxset release!
    Sept 2022 - The March Violets announce 5 CD boxset release!
    Announcing the Novemeber 18th 2022 release of 'The Palace of Infinite Darkness'

    It's 40 years since The March Violets released our 1st 7" EP (seriously, FORTY).
    So it’s a great time to announce that this tasty 5 CD Box Set is now up for pre order from Jungle Records!
    The Palace of Infinite Darkness - In addition to all the singles plus all the extended versions, the box has six excellent BBC sessions, 23 tracks with 9 unreleased songs (also reissued as Big Soul Kiss 2LP yellow vinyl after a sold-out RSD release). Then there are two whole discs of unreleased demo sessions – one from the early period 1982-84 and another from 1985-87. Founder-member Rosie Garland recounts the band’s story in a 44-page booklet.
    Check out the link:
    https://smarturl.it/MV5CDbox

    Written on Thursday, 22 September 2022 12:19
  • June 2022 - Queer Poetry for The Arvon Foundation
    June 2022 - Queer Poetry for The Arvon Foundation
    Residential Writing Week: Queer Poetry

    A wonderful experience – for the first time, I co-tutored a residential writing week for the prestigious Arvon Foundation! It was such a thrill to work alongside inspiring co-tutor Keith Jarrett and electrifying guest reader Jay Bernard.
    A very special week. I won’t forget it.

    Monday June 27th - Saturday July 2nd 2022
    Totleigh Barton, Sheepwash, Beaworthy Devon
    https://www.arvon.org/writing-courses/courses-retreats/residential-writing-week-queer-poetry/

    Written on Wednesday, 21 September 2022 15:16