Monthly Archives: March 2014

March Wrap Up

Charles Ives music study

Dr. Dre’s letter to his wife (then girlfriend) Nicole Threatt about Burning Man, the desert festival which inspired the California Love video.

Speaking of which, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is slotted to open in the Bronx in 2017. Uptown baby!

The Vatican got a scanner. Extremely rare religious manuscripts will soon go online.

“The Guest Cat” made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Way to go indie press New Directions! Publishing since 1936 they have never made it to the list. The publisher thanks a social media embrace set off by a positive NPR review.

Is there room for cursive in 21st Century school curriculum?

NYPL is teaming up with a new startup Zola Books to offer algorithm-based recommendations. Now readers will be pointed to books with similar characteristics instead of what’s popular.

Librarians got real about salaries, in a discussion on Reddit summarized by Bound.

The SXSW Libraries+Archivists+Museums cohort.
8 Ways Oyster Books Can Rule The Subscription Market – written by my publishing savvy brother, Andrew Pantoja.

How Harvard collects vast paper archives, like the one Gore Vidal bequeathed them in 2002.

NYPL and CUNY again must plead with New York state lawmakers to avoid further cuts in 2015, not cool Cuomo.

American composer Charles Ives worked in his study in West Redding, CT in the later years of his life. The study was recently taken apart and moved to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Washington Heights where it will be displayed for a limited time to the public.

Photo: Charles Ives’s study at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Taken from my Instagram.
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Defying Meanies and the Status Quo

Elvis Zine Illustration

“Do you make zines?” I heard this asked a lot at the Feminist Zine Fest. I think it captures the inclusiveness of the community that convened in Barnard Hall Saturday, March 1st. Barnard zine librarian Jenna Freedman secured the space for the event, previously held at The Commons in Brooklyn. About 40 tablers in all lined the room, their tabletops covered with not only zines but lollipops, QR code tablecloths, pom-poms, pins, patches, garland, rocks, and stuffed animals. DJ Troy Frost, herself a zinester, artist and self-described “feminist supastar” provided the soundtrack.

There were zines covering topics of race, sexuality, identity, personal histories and family histories. If you were looking for a yoga themed zine, or a zine about unhelpful cats, there was a table that had it! Natsumi, a recent graduate of The School of Oriental and African Studies, grabbed a zine about Nigeria.

For those who really want to get deep in zine culture, libraries like the ones at Barnard College and the Papercut Zine Library in Cambridge, MA house thousands of zines. I chatted with Mitch from Papercut Zine Library who told me libraries play an important role in giving a home to zines and preserving the narratives of marginalized people. Zines are primary resources of people’s lives, many of whom are underrepresented in mainstream publishing. Zine libraries help to fill that void.

Some zines that caught my eye were not concerned with telling personal stories. Elvis Bakaitis, an organizer, displayed a series called Homos in Herstory (and drew the cool illustration above). Another zinester had compiled all of her favorite quotes from books she’s read since the 10th grade. A few tables over Nicole, a social studies teacher at the Calhoun School displayed some zines made by teens of various ages at the school. On the Zinefest blog Nicole talked about the process of making zines with the young women, “We had to negotiate what to include, how to represent ourselves and contributors, how to deal with conflict. So, zine making was a really important feminist praxis for me.”

Walking around the room, I wanted to read all the zines and celebrate their uniqueness. For the rest of the day I was very proud to wear a pin that read, in script letters, “don’t be mean, make a zine!”

(Artwork: Elvis Bakaitis)

Making Pins at Zine Fest

Barnard Zine Club

dj troy frost feminist zine fest

Tables at Fest

(Photos: Library Manifesto)

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February Wrap Up

new manifesto newlights press

Here are a selection of the articles I bookmarked last month:

This Crain’s article revealed how a library renovation is bringing hope to local businesses and eateries that need to attract patrons in Queens, NY.

Speaking of Queens, History Pin showed up in Long Island City and helped digitize some local historical photographs.

People are using data analysis to show interesting relationships. Ed Summer’s data visualization shows how many times each Paris Review interview appears on Wikipedia.

Is the literary world elitist? Maybe the question shouldn’t be IS but WHY?

Carl Sagan’s wonderful response letter to everyone’s favorite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Cities start early bidding for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

An Interview with Elena Bulat, a photo conservator. “I have my own favorite set [of] scalpels that might be used by an orthodontist.”

Test how fast you read! Tip: don’t rush

Photo: The New Manifesto of Newlights Press spotted this month at Berl’s Poetry Shop in DUMBO Brooklyn. “Book are more than text…”


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