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Our origin story

In senior year of high school, the three of us--Zoe, Sofia, and Miriam--came together, determined to learn about queer theory and history. With the guidance of our beloved teacher and mentor, Laura, we created a course where we grappled with queer theory, learned about our history, and read queer literature. Our first semester was defined by theorists like Eve Sedgewick and Judith Butler (we once spent three class periods on a single paragraph by Butler!). Our second semester, structured more like a book club, had us reading work like Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde,  No Ashes in the Fire by Darnell Moore, and Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown.

left to right: Sofia, Laura, Zoe, and Miriam 

left to right: Sofia, Laura, Zoe, and Miriam 

It was important to us that we shared the knowledge that we received with the rest of our school, and we worked together to create a timeline of (some) queer history and a zine with our own artistic reactions to the queer literature we had read. One year later, stuck at home after our first year at college, we wanted to continue this work together, and expand the community of art, care, and learning that we had experienced in high school. In this time of isolation, precarity, and revolution, we reached out to queer people in our lives to share art, stories, and thinking, in order to celebrate pride and create another zine together. We hope that this online zine provides the same sense of mutual care and celebration that we experienced in our original study group! 

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Planning :a new spelling!

Why :a new spelling ?

Our class was initially called “the Queer Theory Tutorial,” which was then affectionately shortened to “Queery” by all who knew us. While this name has and always will be beloved to us, we thought that in expanding the group to an online platform and more of our friends, we would seek out a new name. Because the three of us love Audre Lorde and her thinking so much, we thought it would be fitting to name her and the possibilities of creation, invention, and identity with :a new spelling of my name, in honor of Lorde’s biomythography, Zami: A New Spelling of my Name. We’re so excited to be sharing work and growing with you!

We also want to acknowledge that after settling on this name, we learned that a 2004 biography entitled Warrior Poet wrote about Lorde’s history as an abuser within some of her intimate partnerships. Since she has now passed away, we hope to use this name and platform to reference the ways that her work sustained, nurtured, and taught us, while also completely condemning her abusive behavior in life.

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Zami and Zines!