This year's Miami Zine Fair took place on a hot and windy day. As gusts passed through YoungArts plaza, zines of all shapes, sizes and colors escaped tables and fluttered through the air. The event tents levitated momentarily like cult-film spacecrafts. Metal posts returned to the ground with a heavy clink. All was well.
Over fifty small presses and independent publishers attended the fair. Styles and formats varied immensely. There were black and white computer paper zines alongside intricately bound books of recycled leather. With live performances by O, ral records, Poetry Pops by Randy Burman, Lone Wolfe’s taco truck on hand and all the free Perrier one could drink, the venue was crowded from opening til closing.
Inside YoungArts, Exile Books organized a library of presses and publications. From the Exile team, Ms. Lauren Monzon selected her favorite: a green hued book dedicated to human-plant intimacy. Stationed just behind one Exile stand, Vanity Projects provided literary-inspired nail paintings. They applied their beautifully rendered and intricate designs free of charge.
Upstairs, Love! Rage!! Passion!!!, an exhibition curated by Exile Books founder Cristina Favretto, occupied the gallery space. Walls chronicled the resurgence of academic and popular interest in zines. One could stroll through the gallery or take a seat and enjoy a read in the air-conditioned wonderland.
If one was inspired, they could head downstairs once more: just behind reception was an impromptu zine lab. One had access to photocopy machine, paper, straightedge, scissors and an array of writing instruments. A collection box stood for donations of zines created on site, which will be released in collaborative form by Exile Books.
Outside, the day continued. An exceptionally strong gust surged through the exhibition tent like a wind tunnel. At Bookleggers' stand, a strange and troubled Nathaniel Sandler grasped at his books in frenzy. Like numerous others, he succeeded for the most part. In the loving shade, readers lowered their eyes and turned a page.