Categories
Zine

Now Available! Manifest (zine): Heroically Found

Issue #9, Heroically Found

Taking its theme from the William Butler Yeats poem “A Crazed Girl,” HEROICALLY FOUND considers how we improvise as we go along “no matter what disaster occurred,” finding balance, like the crazed girl, in “her music, her poetry, dancing upon the shore.” Quoting from a variety of spiritual and creative sources, HEROICALLY FOUND posits that the way to find equilibrium in these challenging times is through mindful presence — a meditation that opens our hearts and minds to art, to poetry, and to unexpected blessings. For writer Jen Payne, those blessings often include creativity, inspiration, and beautiful rays of insight revealed during her walking meditations in the woods and along the shore. Come along and see what you can find yourself!

INGREDIENTS: appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, digital art, ephemera, essays, found art, found objects, found poetry, hand-drawn fonts, handmade rubber stamp art, ink jet copies, land art, laser prints, original photographs, poetry, and quotes. With gratitude to Keri Smith and guest appearances by Dale Carlson, Joseph Cornell, Ami McKay, Charles Simic, William Butler Yeats,  and more!

Special thanks to the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT for its support of MANIFEST (zine).

24-page, full-color 5×7 + inserts, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00.


MANIFEST (zine): Heroically Found is part of THE EXCHANGE, a statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt on view, August 15 – November 1, 2022 (rain or sun). It includes GPS-tracking, QR codes, and adventuring to 15 unique public art installations by 23 participating artists. The designated sites can be accessed through a map with GPS coordinates found at www.SomethingProjects.net.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Zine

THE EXCHANGE: A Statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt

I am psyched to be part of THE EXCHANGE, a statewide artist treasure hunt happening in Connecticut from now until November 1! CLICK HERE for an interactive map, GPS coordinates, and video clues from all of the artists!

SomethingProjects is launching its first project, a statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt called THE EXCHANGE, on view daily, August 15 – November 1, 2022 (rain or sun). It includes GPS-tracking, QR codes, and adventuring to 15 unique public art installations. The designated sites can be accessed through a map with GPS coordinates found at SomethingProjects.net beginning August 15.

Get ready for an adventure! Plan your outing to visit the many exciting projects in which the public is invited to engage in fun and meaningful ways in the towns of: Beacon Falls, Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, North Haven, Washington Depot, and Waterbury. Learn about these artists selected from your community by participating in the act of discovering what they have created to exchange with you.

THE EXCHANGE ARTISTS

Jeff Becker, Easton
Meg Bloom, New Haven
David Borawski, Hartford
Susan Breen, Bridgeport
Joy Bush, Hamden
Susan Clinard, New Haven
Jennifer Davies, Branford
Sierra Dennehy, New Haven
Ellen Hackl Fagan, Darien
Crystal Heiden, Milford
Allison Hornak, New Haven
Fritz Horstman, Bethany
Joe Bun Keo, Vernon/Rockville
Judith Kruger, New Haven
Susan McCaslin, New Haven
Bailey Murphy, Meriden
Adam Niklewicz, North Haven
Jen Payne, Branford
Roxy Savage, Fairfield
Max Schmidt, Meriden
Rosanne Shea, Waterbury
Kim Van Aelst, Hamden
Jo Yarrington, Fairfield

ABOUT SOMETHINGPROJECTS
In 2022, longtime friends and artists, Howard el-Yasin and Suzan Shutan decided to partner and launched SomethingProjects: a nomadic and provisional space providing short-term exhibitions that dually highlight artists as well as introducing communities to new viewpoints and practices by state, regional, national and international artists. As an incubator for ideas it encourages artists to step outside their boundaries and experiment with the intersection of materials, production, presentation and means of engagement with audience and space. Their locations will change, and offer site-specific opportunities. For more information about SomethingProjects and THE EXCHANGE, visit www.SomethingProjects.net.

Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA.

Categories
Creativity Zine

It’s International Zine Month!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL ZINE MONTH! Come on over to the Three Chairs Publishing website and join me as we celebrate a month full of zine things! Find out about zines, zine libraries, zine history, how to make your own zine and more!

Categories
Creativity

NOW ON SALE! Manifest (zine) #8

#8, Endemic

On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers, and wounded seventeen other people, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, United States. The victims were Makenna Lee Elrod, 10, Layla Salazar, 11, Maranda Mathis, 11, Nevaeh Bravo, 10, Jose Manuel Flores Jr., 10, Xavier Lopez, 10, Tess Marie Mata, 10, Rojelio Torres, 10, Eliahna “Ellie” Amyah Garcia, 9, Eliahna A. Torres, 10, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, Jackie Cazares, 9, Uziyah Garcia, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10, Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10, Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, Irma Garcia, 48, Eva Mireles, 44, Amerie Jo Garza, 10, Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10, and Alithia Ramirez, 10.

MANIFEST (zine): Endemic is a response that event. The proceeds from this issue will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, their intent is “to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. By empowering youth to “know the signs” and uniting all people who value the protection of children, we can take meaningful actions in schools, homes, and communities to prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.”

12-page, full-color 5×7, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00


Part lit mag, part artist book, part chapbook, MANIFEST (zine) is the eclectic creation of Connecticut writer / poet / artist Jen Payne. Consider it a hold-in-your-hands art installation featuring writing, photography, and artwork, along with bits and pieces of whatnot that rise to the surface as she meditates on themes like change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times. Each issue also includes a curated Spotify playlist. Layered with colors, textures, meanings (and music), the result is a thought-full, tactile journey with nooks and crannies for you to discover along the way.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Creativity

A Tale of Two Stories in Guilford, CT

It’s definitely BIGGER ON THE INSIDE, but you’ll have to see Sarah Zar’s solo exhibit Guilford Art Center for yourself. This awesome photo is just a hint at what you’ll find. (Photo by Ashley Seneco, GAC Programs Assistant and Visitor Services)
Jen Payne, friend Laura Noe, and Maureen Belden, Executive Director of Guilford Art Center. (Photo by SeaneenThorpe)

Guilford Art Center (Guilford, CT) is currently hosting a tale of two stories about connections made across the world wide web, and together they weave a story of lost histories and creative bravery.

On Valentine’s weekend, Guilford Art Center hosted a fun and electric book signing for local author Jen Payne’s new book Water Under the Bridge. Told through a series of emails, it’s about two former loves who reconnect after 15 years apart and work to reconcile their pasts and futures. It’s a conversation, a memoir, a love story…sort of.

And while premise itself is intriguing, it’s the stunning cover design that first captures your imagination. The image, called Hurricane Woman, was painted by Sarah Zar, a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist. Jen and Sarah connected through their Etsy shops back in 2019.

But the story doesn’t end there.

When the time came to launch the book, Jen saw a great opportunity to weave the common threads — cover art and artist, artist and art center. And so it was that the salon-style exhibit BIGGER ON THE INSIDE found a home in the Center’s lobby gallery.

Sarah’s paintings, often executed in low-lit, moody colors, are filled with bizarre figures, interacting or inhabiting solitary scenes with other unnatural presences, absences, and transpositions. She paints on old book pages and found remnants, preferring the polished texture of things with lost histories. In any medium — painted or three-dimensional — Sarah’s works are often figurative and a bit fabulist. She thinks of her objects as love letters to the unconscious minds of strangers.

On view through April 16, all of the work is for sale and outlined in a full-color price list available in The Shop at Guilford Art Center. Also for sale are copies of Water Under the Bridge: A Sort-of Love Story, signed artist prints of the Hurricane Woman cover art, joy bottles, lover’s eye necklaces, postcards, and signed copies of Sarah’s art book, Riddled With Spots, a popular item at the MoMA gift shop.

For more information, please visit www.guilfordartcenter.org.


A steady stream of guests filled the Art Center with enthusiasm on Saturday, February 12, including Victoria Ferrell of the Guilford Courier who featured her photographs in this Meet the Author feature.


SCENES FROM THE DAY

Sarah Zar’s solo exhibit BIGGER ON THE INSIDE, on view at Guilford Art Center through April 16.

Water Under the Bridge: A Sort-of Love Story is on sale at The Shop at Guilford Art Center.
The book signing event on February 12 was full of joy…so are Sarah Zar’s “Joy Bottles” on sale at The Shop.
Book Signing guests enjoyed gift bags filled with goodies including La Colombe coffee and donuts from Pastry Fusion in North Branford.
The Shop at Guilford Art Center has a wide selection of contemporary handcrafted work by American artisans…
…including books, zines, and postcards created by Jen Payne…
…and a featured selection of work by artist Sarah Zar.

SPECIAL THANKS…

This event could not have happened if it weren’t for the enthusiasm, good work, and warm welcome from the staff at Guilford Art Center: Elena Albergo, Maureen Belden, John Bohannan, Ashley Seneco, Suzanne Hens-Kaplan, DeeDee Hakun, Lisa Ste. Marie, and Lisa Wolkow.

With special thanks to Sue Singleton, GAC Programs Assistant and Visitor Services, who greeted and assisted the many visitors in The Shop during the event.
And to Shoreline Times editor Sue Braden for her excellent feature article about the book and the event! Click on the photo read it now.

WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE: A SORT-OF LOVE STORY ($16) is available at The Shop at Guilford Art Center (411 Church Street, Guilford, CT 06437) and from Three Chairs Publishing.


Jen Payne has published two books of poetry as well as a collection of essays and original photographs. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the international anthology Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee; the Guilford Poets Guild 20th Anniversary Anthology; Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, edited by Connecticut’s Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson; and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health.  Payne is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993. You can read more of her work on her blog Random Acts of Writing, randomactsofwriting.net, and in MANIFEST (zine) which creatively explores concepts of change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times.

Sarah Zar is a book-obsessed, multi-disciplinary artist who has exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. Whether drawing, painting, collaging, or sculpting, Zar uses images in a literary, psychological and symbolic way. While finishing her Master’s degree, she played the saw in a gypsy chamber ensemble, taught contemporary art & aesthetics, quantum theory, literary theory, NLP, nonsense cryptology, psychology, and the art of microexpressions. Zar is currently working on community-based artwork in which anyone in the world can be painted into an epic narrative scene about the War on Imagination.


The Guilford Art Center is a non-profit school, shop, and gallery established to nurture and support excellence in the arts.  Through classes for adults and children, gallery programs, a shop of contemporary crafts, and special events, the Center provides opportunities for the public to participate in the arts, to experience their cultural and historical diversity, and to appreciate the process and product of creative work.  Founded in 1967, the Center currently serves over 2,000 students, presents juried and invitational exhibits of art in the Center’s gallery and operates a shop of fine, handmade American crafts year-round.  The Center also presents the Craft Expo, held on the Guilford Green each year in July, that features works by more than 180 of the country’s most distinguished artisans.

Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine) – A Quarantine Zine

Manifest (zine) #5 – Refuge

This special “quarantine zine” features the words and images and thoughts within which we found REFUGE last year. The literal and figurative reflections, the comforting quotes and laugh-out-loud memes that kept us breathing all those long months, and helped us regain our sea legs when it seemed like the worst was behind us. Includes a full color, 36-page booklet, fun inserts, a curated Spotify playlist, and more! Cost: $6.00.


The Annual Subscription rate of $20 includes four issues of MANIFEST (zine), and starts with the September issue REFUGE: A Quarantine Zine.

Part lit mag, part artist book, part chapbook, MANIFEST (zine) is the eclectic creation of writer / poet / artist Jen Payne. Consider it a hold-in-your-hands art installation featuring writing, photography, and artwork, along with bits and pieces of whatnot that rise to the surface as she meditates on themes like change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times. Each issue also includes a curated Spotify playlist. Layered with colors, textures, meanings (and music), the result is a thought-full, tactile journey with nooks and crannies for you to discover along the way.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Zine

MANIFEST (zine): Divine Intervention

Issue #1, DIVINE INTERVENTION
What is the force that moves us? Changes us? Propels us with such acceleration that we hardly recognize ourselves. Is it grief, heartbreak, indignation? Or joy, courage, determination? Perhaps it is DIVINE INTERVENTION — masked for our benefit as demon or angel or a hurried white rabbit who intrigues us just enough to move. To trip, fall, test the waters, grow up, expand, explore. And praise be to that because often, so very often, those big and unexpected transitions become our greatest and most profound adventures.

POEMS
• Transubstantiation
• What Sound Change
• Identity Theft
• Memoir
• Alternate Ending
• Dance! I Say, Dance!
• Kintsugi

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acetone transfers, acrylic paints, Avery labels, collaged elements, color copies, colored pencils, gold star stickers, Golden gel medium, hand-cut templates, hand-drawn fonts, hand-dyed paper, handmade papers, handmade rubber stamps, ink jet copies, laser prints, metal arrow, mirror labels, original photography, paper napkin, pigment inks, poetry, watercolor paints, with cameo appearances by Sir Isaac Newton Laws of Motion, Dirty Dancing, Star Trek, Solbeam, Eadweard Muybridge, Lewis Carroll, Sir John Tenniel, Alice, The Principals of Cartography, and the Serenity Prayer.



Categories
Creativity

Every body wants to be a cat…sing along!

Did you know that each issue of MANIFEST (zine) includes a Spotify playlist especially curated for readers? For the CAT LADY CONFESSIONS issue, I explore all things cat, with songs by artists like Dee-Lite, Peggy Polk, Psapp, Alexis Saski, Lee Ann Womak, and Janet Jackson. It’s purr-fect! Take a listen now!


Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine): Cat Lady Confessions

Issue #2, CAT LADY CONFESSIONS
Poor Cat Lady. She always gets a bum rap. No one ever makes fun of Ernest Hemingway, whose Key West home was filled with cats — and he of a certain age. His strapping action figure includes a typewriter and a shotgun. Cat Lady? She gets six cats, bed head, and a ratty bathrobe. Doesn’t she earn points for opening her heart wide open? for loving even the most unlovable? for her strong, independent nature; Her patience and acceptance? for her superpower ability to nurture trust, stillness, solitude, balance? This issue of MANIFEST (zine) explores the oft-maligned life of the cat lady: crazy or contemplative? recluse or dancing to the beat of her own drum? You decide.

POEMS
• The Obscurity of This Week’s Words
• Bury Me in Yellow
• Serenity
• Chasing
• Note to Self: Smell Roses
• The Anatomy of 3 a.m.
• Sunday Haiku
• Cat Meditation

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acrylic paints, appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, colored pencils, cracker box, crazy cat lady action figure, Golden gel medium, hand-drawn fonts, hand-dyed paper, handmade cat mask, handmade linoleum block print, handmade papers, ink jet copies, laser prints, latex animal cat head mask, original photography, pigment inks, poetry, ribbon, rubber stamps, soap wrapper, sparkle paint, vintage photographs, watercolor paints, with cameo appearances by Cassastamps, Vikki Dougan , Matt Fry, Carl Larsson, Nina Leen, Pietro Longhi, Amedeo Modigliani, Mary O’Connor, Pixelins by Dana, Eckhart Tolle, Hattie Watson , Helen M. Winslow, and special thanks to Fuzzy, Calico, Crystal, Emily, CJ, Mousse, Little Black Kitty, and Lola.

24-Page, Full-Color, 5.5 X 8.5 Booklet, $6.00



Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine)…It’s About Time

MANIFEST ZINE
Issue #3, It’s About Time!
Poems & More by Jen Payne

We humans sure are creative with time, aren’t we? This arbitrary turning clocks backward or forward twice a year, assigning time to zones and lines and frames. I myself try to trick time, setting clocks randomly wrong and always fast as if I can somehow control the hours, beat the Kobayashi Maru of time. Even Albert Einstein said time is an illusion — “a stubbornly persistent illusion” — that time and space are merely “modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.” Of course, if you think too hard on things like that you end up down rabbit holes and worm holes…want to come along?

Then check out the next issue of MANIFEST (zine). It’s About Time this time — time travel, time loops, time passing — a 28-page, full-color book filled with artwork, photos, poetry, and a curated Spotify playlist just for you. Cost: $6.00.

POEMS
• Time Peace
• Moonwalk Writer
• Time Flies
• Time Traveler
• There is No Synonym for Reunion
• This Affliction of Longing
• Shape-Shifter, Time-Shifter Crow
• Black Bird Haiku
• Missing Banksy

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acrylic paints, appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, Dymo labels, ephemera, essays, Golden gel medium, hand-drawn fonts, ink jet copies, laser prints, mixed-media collage, one sci-fi geek, original photographs, pigment inks, poetry, postage stamps, postcard art, rubber stamp art, time travelers, vintage magazine pages, vintage photos, vintage postcard, and watercolor paint, with thanks to the Leo Baeck Institute, Joy Bush, Paul Delvaux, Albert Einstein, Esther Elzinga of StudioTokek, Rowland Emmet, the Everett Collection, Michael Jackson, Julien Pacaud, Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Robinson, Sir John Tenniel, and Rudolph Zallinger.

Issue #3, It’s About Time!
28-page, full-color 7.5 x 5.5

Cost: $6.00

 

BUY NOW or SUBSCRIBE and get 4 issues for just $20!



Categories
Creativity

The Sound of Crickets

Did you know that each issue of MANIFEST (zine) includes a Spotify playlist especially curated for readers? For the CRICKETS issue, I had fun playing off the themes of silence, finding one’s voice, and creating from the heart. It features an eclectic set of songs by artists like Disturbed, Grace Carter, Barry Manilow, John Mayer, Natasha Bedingfield, and Brandi Carlile. Take a listen now!

IMAGE: Midsummer Frolic, British Library Digital Library, When Life is Young, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge, 1894.

Categories
Creativity

WHAT’S THAT? Manifest (zine): Crickets

MANIFEST ZINE
Issue #4, Crickets
by Jen Payne

Storytelling is in our DNA says Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong. We share our stories because “we feel most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories.” That process, she explains, causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin, the chemicals that “trigger the uniquely human ability to connect, empathize, and make meaning.” So we write. And we create. No matter who listens or responds. Crickets be damned.

MANIFEST (zine): Crickets is a riff and a rant about the consequences of creative bravery. It’s a 24-page, full color booklet that includes a curated Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.


INGREDIENTS: appropriation art, black-out poetry, collaged elements, color copies, colored markers, ephemera, hand-drawn fonts, ink jet copies, laser prints, vintage illustrations, watercolor paints, and “11 Cute Facts About Crickets.”

With THANKS to to the British Library Digital Library, Brené Brown, Leonard Cohen, Carlo Collodi, Francis Crick, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge, Natalie Goldberg, Charles d. Orbigny, Pinocchio, George Selden, the Trustees of the British Museum, James Watson, and Margaret J. Wheatley.


Issue #4, Crickets
24-page, full-color 4.25 x 5.5,
Cost: $6.00

 

BUY NOW or SUBSCRIBE and get 4 issues for just $20!



Categories
Creativity Writing Zine

Happy International Zine Month 2021!

Download the poster.

Thanks to Alex Wrek at Stolen Sharpie Revolution, we’re celebrating INTERNATIONAL ZINE MONTH! Stay tuned for lots of good zine things and consider these ways to celebrate throughout the month of July!


Categories
Creativity mindfulness Nature Writing

Finding Leonard Cohen down a Rabbit Hole

One of my favorite things about the work I get do to for my books and zines is the sleuthing. Hunting down random (often misappropriated) quotes, getting permissions to reprint, finding hard copy proof. Evidence for my readers — and myself — that I have done due diligence to make what you hold in your hands valid and true to the best of my abilities.

As a student of English literature and journalism, and as a life-long writer and citer, I feel an incredible responsibility to validate as many of my references as possible. To remind my readers, for example, that it was Henry Stanley Haskins who wrote “What lies behind us and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us,” not Ralph Waldo Emerson or Gandhi, and not Buddha.

When I was writing LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, in which I used that quote, I actually spent six months researching and properly attributing quotes. That task included rabbit holes like the quote sourced to a 1970s motivational poster printed by an academic publisher in Texas written by a retired social worker in Oak Park, Illinois.

I get a little geeky when it comes to that kind of thing. Like a dog with a bone. Truth be told, I love it as much Alice loved going on her adventures!

My most recent adventure involved Leonard Cohen and a 60-year-old book.

While I was working on the spring issue of MANIFEST (zine): CRICKETS, I found a beautiful poem by Cohen called “Summer Haiku.” The poem appeared in his book The Spice-Box of Earth of which there was a rare, limited edition hardcover edition that included illustrations by Frank Newfeld, a renowned Canadian illustrator and book designer.

There were several copies of the book available online starting at around $200, which is a tad higher than my budget for the zine project. Less expensive copies did not include the Newfeld illustrations, and by this point in the adventure those were key.

I did find and purchase issue number 56 of The Devil’s Artisan: A Journal of the Printing Arts that featured Newfeld’s work on delicious, offset-printed, antique laid pages. It even included a letterpressed color keepsake of Newfeld’s illustration for Cohen’s poem “The Gift,” which appears in The Spice-Box of Earth.

I went on to find a bookseller in Canada, Steven Temple, who owns a copy of the 1961 edition. Searching through the 10,000 books he attends to in his home-based bookshop, he found and took the photo of “Summer Haiku” that appears in CRICKETS.

Of course, I was still curious. What did the rest of the book look like? How many poems were there? How many illustrations? How could I see it? Read it?

My local library did not have a copy of the book, nor did Google Books. According to a 2016 article in Toronto Life, the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is “home to 140 banker’s boxes worth of Cohen’s archives” including “handwritten notes and letters, portraits, CDs, paintings, novel manuscripts, books, early drafts of his poetry and lyrics, and even art he made when he lived as a Buddhist monk.” Would it include a digital copy of The Spice-Box of Earth?

It did not.

Nor did the online Library and Archives of Canada or the Canadian Electronic Library. But on the Hathi Trust Digital Library website there was a helpful “Find in a Library” link that, when clicked, revealed some familiar and within-driving-distance names: Yale University, Wesleyan University, Connecticut College.

Lightbulb! I immediately emailed a woman I know at our local library, Deb Trofatter, who is the Associate Librarian for Reference Services and Technology, and asked…by any chance…can you get a copy of…

Which is how, on May 15, I came to have in my hands a 60-year-old hardcover copy of Leonard Cohen’s The Spice-Box of Earth to savor and share.

NOTES & LINKS

The Spice-Box of Earth, illustrated by Frank Newfeld. (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1961).

• Click here to purchase my book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness

• Meditations in Wall Street by Henry Stanley Haskins (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1940).

• The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When, by Ralph Keyes (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2006).

• Learn more about The Devil’s Artisan : A Journal of the Printing Arts

• Discover Steven Temple Books

• Read “A look inside U of T’s massive archive of Leonard Cohen poems, letters and pictures,” in Toronto Life

• Check out the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Alice photo from a Fortnum & Mason (London) holiday window display, possibly 2006. Photographer not found yet.

MANIFEST (zine): Crickets is a riff and a rant about the consequences of creative bravery. It’s a 24-page, full color booklet that includes a curated Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure. Click here to order your copy today!

Categories
Creativity

NEW! Manifest (zine): Crickets

MANIFEST ZINE
Issue #4, Crickets
by Jen Payne

Storytelling is in our DNA says Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong. We share our stories because “we feel most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories.” That process, she explains, causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin, the chemicals that “trigger the uniquely human ability to connect, empathize, and make meaning.” So we write. And we create. No matter who listens or responds. Crickets be damned.

MANIFEST (zine): Crickets is a riff and a rant about the consequences of creative bravery. It’s a 24-page, full color booklet that includes a curated Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.


INGREDIENTS: appropriation art, black-out poetry, collaged elements, color copies, colored markers, ephemera, hand-drawn fonts, ink jet copies, laser prints, vintage illustrations, watercolor paints, and “11 Cute Facts About Crickets.”

With THANKS to to the British Library Digital Library, Brené Brown, Leonard Cohen, Carlo Collodi, Francis Crick, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge, Natalie Goldberg, Charles d. Orbigny, Pinocchio, George Selden, the Trustees of the British Museum, James Watson, and Margaret J. Wheatley.


Issue #4, Crickets
24-page, full-color 4.25 x 5.5,
Cost: $6.00

 

BUY NOW or SUBSCRIBE and get 4 issues for just $20!


Categories
Creativity Writing Zine

Spinning Jenny

Volume S of our 1976 Encyclopedia Britannica collection did not have much to say about the Spinning Jenny. What it was: an early machine for spinning wool or cotton. Who created it: James Hargreaves from Lancashire, England. When: 1764. And a short sentence about its significance in the industrial revolution.

I can still see the two-sentence paragraph description and its line drawing of the Spinning Jenny sitting on the page. What I could not see at the time was the 500-word essay being requested by my 6th grade social studies teacher Mr. Jacobson.

So I did what any good writer would do. I improvised!

What is a spinning wheel used for? How does it work? Where does the wool and cotton come from? What was life like in Lancashire? What was life like in 1764? Who was James Hargreaves? What was the industrial revolution?

Et voila! Essay.

Pulling from different sources, I spun together that essay and earned an impressive A- for my effort.

Ironically, one of the reasons the Spinning Jenny was so important is that it allowed a worker to use multiple spindles of material in the forming of thread.

Fast forward 40-something years, and I am still spinning. Still pulling from multiple sources to form threads of thought that get woven into my writing and creative work.

I love the experience of that process. Going down the rabbit hole of “what do we have here?” and finding winding paths to all sorts of unexpected discoveries.

I love the organic nature of those discoveries — what reveals itself as I walk along those paths. A bit like Alice, I suppose, wandering and Wondering in that strange, unexplored land.

I love the challenge of digging deeper to find some key piece of information that completes the story. I love doing research and following breadcrumbs.

The best part, of course, is when it can all finally come together. Tie off all of the threads, weave the ends together. See the conclusion of the hard work: the poem, the book, the zine, this essay.

I suppose, if you think about it, that make me a Spinning Jenny, wouldn’t you say?

©2021, Jen Payne, but only 360 words. For more good words, check out my Etsy Shop now!

Categories
Creativity Quotes Zine

Pieces of Thought

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” Isaac Newton said.

“You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life’,” author Wayne Dyer said, some 300 years later.

I don’t think either of them were talking about keys…but I am.

I was walking through the woods the other day, thinking about the things we carry with us. The physical things—like keys — and the less tangible, like memories. The things we carry with us can be heavy — grudges or a responsibility. Or they can be light — kind words or the lyrics of a favorite song…

The wind is the whisper of our mother the earth
The wind is the hand of our father the sky
The wind watches over our struggles and pleasures
The wind is the goddess who first learned to fly.

Often, the things we carry with us are no longer necessary.

For example, the key chain I carry holds 11 keys, three key fobs, and bar-coded tags for access to my library, AAA, and mile-long receipts from CVS.

Of those keys, I use three: house, car, post office box. One opens the door to a friend’s house, but I can’t remember the last time I used any of the other ones. That’s seven keys — or about four ounces — I carry around with no purpose.

Imagine if the non-tangible things carried weight as well? An ounce for that grudge, another for that resentment. Two ounces for that grief, and two more for that heartache. Perhaps they do.

But can I “release the need for this in my life,” I wonder as I walk? Can I let go of those old things that no longer serve a purpose? Can I leave stale habits and welcome new ones?

If I want to change things, according to Newton, I must do something: every object tends to remain in its state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

If I “release the need,” and there is an equal and opposite reaction…will I manifest positive change? What new doors will open?

And won’t I need a new key?

Windsong, John Denver

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE the Divine Intervention issue of MANFEST (zine)

Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine): What’s Old, What’s New, What’s Coming

Emily Fletcher, author of the awesome book Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance, writes “When we create something — whether it’s dinner for a friend, a presentation at work, a self-published memoir, or a new company — we’re stepping into the unknown and making ourselves vulnerable by putting into concrete terms something we had nurtured in our mind.”

MANIFEST (zine) is just that.

Emerging from creative inspirations and the solitude of the pandemic, this colorful, eclectic publication features my own writing and artwork, along with thoughts and images from a host of guest artists and authors, all dancing loosely around themes like change, time, and silence. The result — what has been manifest especially for you — is a thought-full, tactile journey of consideration and contemplation.

Curious? You can buy individual issues below for just $6.00 or SUBSCRIBE now and get 4 issues for $20.00.

The newest issue — Crickets — should be ready in June. I can’t wait for you to see it! Until then, sending wishes for good inspiration and steady health!

Love,

Jen Payne
Writer / Poet / Artist
Three Chairs Publishing


Issue #4, CRICKETS
Storytelling is in our DNA says Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong. We share our stories because “we feel most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories.” That process, she explains, causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin, the chemicals that “trigger the uniquely human ability to connect, empathize, and make meaning.” Issue #4 of MANIFEST (zine) presents a riff and a rant about the consequences of creative bravery.

PREORDER – Ships June 1
24-Page, Color, 4.25 x 5.5 Booklet, curated Spotify playlist, $6.00
BUY NOW!

Issue #3, IT’S ABOUT TIME
We humans sure are creative with time, aren’t we? This arbitrary turning clocks backward and forward twice a year, assigning time to zones and lines and frames. I myself try to trick time, setting clocks randomly wrong and always fast as if I can somehow control the hours, beat the unwinnable Kobayashi Maru of time. Even Albert Einstein said time is an illusion — “a stubbornly persistent illusion” — that time and space are merely “modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.” Of course, if you think too hard on things like that you end up down rabbit holes and worm holes…want to come along?

READ MORE about this issue

28-Page, Full-Color, 7.5 x 5.5 Booklet, curated Spotify playlist, $6.00
BUY NOW!

Issue #2, CAT LADY CONFESSIONS
Poor Cat Lady. She always gets a bum rap. No one ever makes fun of Ernest Hemingway, whose Key West home was filled with cats — and he of a certain age. His strapping action figure includes a typewriter and a shotgun. Cat Lady? She gets six cats, bed head, and a ratty bathrobe. Doesn’t she earn points for opening her heart wide open? for loving even the most unlovable? for her strong, independent nature; Her patience and acceptance? for her superpower ability to nurture trust, stillness, solitude, balance? This issue of MANIFEST (zine) explores the oft-maligned life of the cat lady: crazy or contemplative? recluse or dancing to the beat of her own drum? You decide.

READ MORE about this issue

24-Page, Full-Color, 5.5 X 8.5 Booklet, curated Spotify playlist $6.00
BUY NOW!

Issue #1, DIVINE INTERVENTION
What is the force that moves us? Changes us? Propels us with such acceleration that we hardly recognize ourselves. Is it grief, heartbreak, indignation? Or joy, courage, determination? Perhaps it is DIVINE INTERVENTION — masked for our benefit as demon or angel or a hurried white rabbit who intrigues us just enough to move. To trip, fall, test the waters, grow up, expand, explore. And praise be to that because often, so very often, those big and unexpected transitions become our greatest and most profound adventures.

READ MORE about this issue

Full-Color, folded 11×17 zine, curated Spotify playlist, $6.00
BUY NOW!


 

Categories
Creativity Love Memoir Poetry Wellness Writing

The S.S. (Space Ship) Pussiewillow II

The S.S. Pussiewillow II is a whimsical machine by inventor-sculptor Rowland Emett, who was known worldwide for his intricate machines that whirr, spin, flash, sway, and quiver, going nowhere, doing nothing, poking fun at technology. It appeared on display circa 1980 in the Flight in the Arts gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, complemented by music composed and performed on antique harpsichords by Trevor Pinnock. This indescribable kinetic work became a favorite of adults and children alike. The object was taken off display in 1990, but visitors with long memories still ask about it.

From the postcard:

The S.S. Pussiewillow II, a Personal Air and Space Vehicle of unique Stern-wheel configuration, with Flying Carpet attributes, by Rowland Emett, O.B.E. An adapted Kashmir carpet is enmeshed within a light Jupiter-ring, which undulates and spins to provide False Gravity. Twelve variable-speed Zodiacs spin up to ensure activation of suitable Sign, to nullify adverse contingencies. In combined Control Module and Hospitality Room, the Pilot, accompanied by his Astrocat, pedals lightly (aided by helium-filled knee-caps) to energize Stern Paddle-wheel. There is an elevated Power-boost G.E.O.R.G.E. (Geometric Environmental OARiented Row-Gently Energizer), and a Solar Transfuser for trapping random sun-rays. Module is shown in open attitude, revealing possible Extraneous Being being won-over by Afternoon Tea, and toasted tea-cakes.

“A memory I wasn’t entirely sure was real, of finding something that seemed completely but wonderfully out of place in the National Air and Space Museum,” says the person who took the video below, and I completely agree. Like them, I too, remember wandering around the Air and Space Museum and finding myself in this magical room with its dancing machine and fantastical music. I’ve kept the postcard (above) tucked away ever since — what fun to revisit the memory all these years later!

Postcard and text from the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1981

If you like this magical creation, you’ll LOVE the It’s About Time issue of MANIFEST (zine). On sale now!

Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine): It’s About Time

MANIFEST ZINE
Issue #3, It’s About Time!
Poems & More by Jen Payne

We humans sure are creative with time, aren’t we? This arbitrary turning clocks backward or forward twice a year, assigning time to zones and lines and frames. I myself try to trick time, setting clocks randomly wrong and always fast as if I can somehow control the hours, beat the Kobayashi Maru of time. Even Albert Einstein said time is an illusion — “a stubbornly persistent illusion” — that time and space are merely “modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.” Of course, if you think too hard on things like that you end up down rabbit holes and worm holes…want to come along?

Then check out the next issue of MANIFEST (zine). It’s About Time this time — time travel, time loops, time passing — a 28-page, full-color book filled with artwork, photos, poetry, and a curated Spotify playlist just for you. Cost: $6.00.

POEMS
• Time Peace
• Moonwalk Writer
• Time Flies
• Time Traveler
• There is No Synonym for Reunion
• This Affliction of Longing
• Shape-Shifter, Time-Shifter Crow
• Black Bird Haiku
• Missing Banksy

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acrylic paints, appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, Dymo labels, ephemera, essays, Golden gel medium, hand-drawn fonts, ink jet copies, laser prints, mixed-media collage, one sci-fi geek, original photographs, pigment inks, poetry, postage stamps, postcard art, rubber stamp art, time travelers, vintage magazine pages, vintage photos, vintage postcard, and watercolor paint, with thanks to the Leo Baeck Institute, Joy Bush, Paul Delvaux, Albert Einstein, Esther Elzinga of StudioTokek, Rowland Emmet, the Everett Collection, Michael Jackson, Julien Pacaud, Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Robinson, Sir John Tenniel, and Rudolph Zallinger.

Issue #3, It’s About Time!
28-page, full-color 7.5 x 5.5

Cost: $6.00

Categories
Art Living Poetry

Alternate Ending

As soon as I heard the tone of your voice
I knew I would change the story.
Right there, sitting on the step,
with the phone still warm against my ear,
I said out loud “It will not end this way.”
I never looked back.
I just cut a hole through the wall,
and changed the language of doors.

©2013 Jen Payne. IMAGE: The Open Door, Leon Spilliaert, 1945

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE the Divine Intervention issue of MANFEST (zine)

Categories
Memoir Poetry Writing

Memoir

In the pieces of memory
and scraps of conversations
transcribed in situ
I will tell you about
the headless groom
and the dead dog,
about the failure of Saint Raphael
and the irony of the phrase
“you could get hit by a bus.”
I’ll tell you the 15,000 words that broke me
and the ones that almost put me back together
until I realized my heart was better
cracked wide-open like that anyhow.
Now all I need to do is type

Happy Ending.

on the last page
and hope it will suffice.

Poem ©2017, Jen Payne. Image: Woman writing, Edouard Manet.

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE the Divine Intervention issue of MANFEST (zine)

Categories
Memoir Poetry Writing

Identity Theft

I look
in the mirror
and see nothing.
Pieces of familiar fall away.
Sticks poke at what’s left.

Start from scratch
or use a box mix?
Put square peg
in square hole…
that’s never been my style.

I take a walk
to get answers.
Insert A into B, get C.
But all I see is ocean.
Vast and unresolved.

IT doesn’t seem
to need answers.
In. Out. Back. Forth.
Up. Down. [Repeat.]
I take my cue and leave.

It’s OK. Really.
I was bored with me anyway.
If you please,
may I see something
in a polygon?

Poem ©2008, Jen Payne. Image: Girl in front of mirror, Pablo Picasso

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE the Divine Intervention issue of MANFEST (zine)

Categories
Living Poetry Wellness Writing

Transubstantiation

Be the change you wish to see in the world — be the change you fear.

Serve it up in bite-size pieces and make peace with it because resistance is futile.

Change comes and change comes and change comes
and you change and you change and you change.

Extra change in your pocket
is just reserve for the next detour.

Recalculating.

Better to live in fluidic space, liquid and organic,
bending time, not biding,
moving from here to there effortlessly.

Gracefully.
Gratefully.

Because an object at rest stays at rest
but an object in motion stays in motion

and we all know it’s the motion in the ocean that counts.

Poem ©Jen Payne

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE the Divine Intervention issue of MANFEST (zine)

Categories
Poetry Writing

Dance! I say. Dance!

I told him once it was a dance,
and I hyphenated
the push – pull – go – come
choreography
like a tormented poet might.
How clever the analogy!

(And how could he not love clever?)

Watch me pirouet, I said.
Put a spin on this
so the song doesn’t end,
and the routine goes on forever.

(Did you see that? Clever again.)

It’s the same old song and dance, love.
We can’t side-step the family dance-step,
it’s in our genes, and I don’t mean Kelly, so…

I’d like to shake things up a bit,
you know, move with the times…
Why not dance this year’s dance to—
the pachenga.

Poem ©Jen Payne

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE the Divine Intervention issue of MANFEST (zine)

Categories
Creativity

MANIFEST (zine): Cat Lady Confessions

Issue #2, DIVINE INTERVENTION
Poor Cat Lady. She always gets a bum rap. No one ever makes fun of Ernest Hemingway, whose Key West home was filled with cats — and he of a certain age. His strapping action figure includes a typewriter and a shotgun. Cat Lady? She gets six cats, bed head, and a ratty bathrobe. Doesn’t she earn points for opening her heart wide open? for loving even the most unlovable? for her strong, independent nature; Her patience and acceptance? for her superpower ability to nurture trust, stillness, solitude, balance? This issue of MANIFEST (zine) explores the oft-maligned life of the cat lady: crazy or contemplative? recluse or dancing to the beat of her own drum? You decide.

POEMS
• The Obscurity of This Week’s Words
• Bury Me in Yellow
• Serenity
• Chasing
• Note to Self: Smell Roses
• The Anatomy of 3 a.m.
• Sunday Haiku
• Cat Meditation

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acrylic paints, appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, colored pencils, cracker box, crazy cat lady action figure, Golden gel medium, hand-drawn fonts, hand-dyed paper, handmade cat mask, handmade linoleum block print, handmade papers, ink jet copies, laser prints, latex animal cat head mask, original photography, pigment inks, poetry, ribbon, rubber stamps, soap wrapper, sparkle paint, vintage photographs, watercolor paints, with cameo appearances by Cassastamps, Vikki Dougan , Matt Fry, Carl Larsson, Nina Leen, Pietro Longhi, Amedeo Modigliani, Mary O’Connor, Pixelins by Dana, Eckhart Tolle, Hattie Watson , Helen M. Winslow, and special thanks to Fuzzy, Calico, Crystal, Emily, CJ, Mousse, Little Black Kitty, and Lola.

November 2020, 24-Page, Full-Color, 5.5 X 8.5 Booklet, $6.00
(Spotify Playlist)

Categories
Zine

MANIFEST (zine): Divine Intervention

Issue #1, DIVINE INTERVENTION
What is the force that moves us? Changes us? Propels us with such acceleration that we hardly recognize ourselves. Is it grief, heartbreak, indignation? Or joy, courage, determination? Perhaps it is DIVINE INTERVENTION — masked for our benefit as demon or angel or a hurried white rabbit who intrigues us just enough to move. To trip, fall, test the waters, grow up, expand, explore. And praise be to that because often, so very often, those big and unexpected transitions become our greatest and most profound adventures.

POEMS
• Transubstantiation
• What Sound Change
• Identity Theft
• Memoir
• Alternate Ending
• Dance! I Say, Dance!
• Kintsugi

OTHER INGREDIENTS: acetone transfers, acrylic paints, Avery labels, collaged elements, color copies, colored pencils, gold star stickers, Golden gel medium, hand-cut templates, hand-drawn fonts, hand-dyed paper, handmade papers, handmade rubber stamps, ink jet copies, laser prints, metal arrow, mirror labels, original photography, paper napkin, pigment inks, poetry, watercolor paints, with cameo appearances by Sir Isaac Newton Laws of Motion, Dirty Dancing, Star Trek, Solbeam, Eadweard Muybridge, Lewis Carroll, Sir John Tenniel, Alice, The Principals of Cartography, and the Serenity Prayer.

July 2019, Color, 11×17, folded, $6
(Spotify Playlist)