Swerve Zine Library
There are some really important and interesting primary elections in Washington. I suppose that’s true everywhere. I wanted to get some photos of Sarah Smith’s campaign efforts yesterday, but I failed miserably. I saw that campaign volunteers would be out canvassing in the afternoon, and I thought I’d be able to catch up to them. I blew that one.
I returned home and thought I’d do some photo editing or watch some instructional videos. I really wanted to be out on the streets, though, so I was relieved when I saw Kate Berwanger’s Instagram post indicating that she’d be taking her Swerve Zine Library over to Speckled and Drake. Kate is a local literary force of nature. She works two jobs and organizes, promotes, and runs several literary events in Seattle- Assembly Mic, Swerve Zine Library, Happy Hour Postcards, etc. I don’t know how she does it. I grabbed my camera and headed that way.
Have you heard of zines? I’ve only heard of them recently, at least the term zine. I imagine they’ve had other names. They’re little works of art. Poems, collections of photos, short stories, sketches, painting…printed on whatever strikes the artist’s fancy. The presentation is as creative as the content.
Speckled and Drake is a cool little dive(ish) bar. They might resent me saying it, but it feels a little like a speakeasy but without any of the pretension or seriousness. I envision a neighborhood saloon during Prohibition that was able to stay open because it was discreet, small, quiet, and that’s where all the local cops grabbed a shot of whiskey before going home after their shift.
Kate and a few of my other friends were there. The zines were overflowing from the library, which is a small suitcase that looks like a big briefcase.** I flipped through several that I liked, but it was Danny from Spin Cycle Records’ Clock Tower 9 #13 that grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go. The writing is incredible, and in it he describes a road trip he took with a woman called Hannah from Ohio to Portland. It reminded me of several road trips I made between Arizona and Virginia for school, and also of my drive from Phoenix to Seattle when I moved here.
** Correction: I think it’s definitely a briefcase.