“Recalculating” Zine

recalculating zine index/fistIndex/Fist, the creative collective I co-founded, just released its latest zine, “Recalculating.” This is a collection of geography/cartography-themed work with more than 20 contributors from the East Coast to the East Bay. We solicited contributions of prose, poetry, and art from talented friends we knew, organized them in a coherent narrative, had them printed on a Risograph via Tiny Splendor, hand-sewed 150+ zines in my living room, and celebrated the release at the East Bay Moishe House, a Jewish communal house in Oakland, CA.

If you’d like a copy of the zine, we’d love to send you one! Send $5 per zine + $1 for shipping to carolinehkessler [at] gmail [dot] com via Paypal or Venmo. Put your address in the notes section. Or email me about how to send a check. Local delivery to the East Bay or San Francisco.

This iteration of Index/Fist is me and fiction writer David Wesley Green. Layout by Sumeet Banerji, author of Ice Party.

recalculating zine index/fist

“How to have a creative retreat” on Misadventures

oregon9Back in August, four dear friends and I gathered a beautiful house in Yachats, Oregon (motto: Gem of the Oregon coast). Why? Because I had this vision of having a “creative retreat” and talked my friend Peter into driving us up from Berkeley, and talked Rebecca, Kenzie, and Kenzie’s friend Molly (who didn’t know me) into driving out from Portland. I wanted to gather in a house on the coast over Labor Day weekend to write, read, make art, cook big dinners, walk on the beach, read poems aloud to each other, and whatever else struck us. It took a bit of emailing, a LOT of Airbnb-surfing, and even more driving t o make it all happen, but we pulled it off!


Toregon10hen I thought, wouldn’t other people want to do this too? It really wasn’t that hard to put together, and I can think of a lot of people who need a jump-start (or re-start) on their creative life. So I wrote this how-to piece for the awesome Misadventures Magazine. They’re a women-run publication “spotlighting women who embrace creativity, take risks, and go out and beyond.” Rad, right? I thought so. All of the gorgeous photos in the article are by Molly Dickinson and Rebecca Yates.

oregon8Photos in this here blog post courtesy of Kenzie Rowlett. Thanks to Misadventures for publishing this piece and to Kenzie, Peter, Molly, and Rebecca for embarking on this adventure with me.


Things Men Have Told Me About My Body: A Zine.

things men have told me about my body zineThe title of this brilliant zine that my friend Red Velvet just put out is pretty self-explanatory. Here’s an excerpt from the intro:

“Why does anyone feel like they can comment on bodies that don’t belong to them, particularly female bodies?

This is a zine about things that have been said to us: by friends, lovers, passerby, family, and strangers.

Some are funny, some are rude, some are simply puzzling.

Many are hurtful, and some are seriously upsetting.

things men have told me about my body zineAll are completely unnecessary.

Generally, the people telling you things about your body are people who are not used to having their bodies critiqued in turn. This is about power, and visibility.”

The zine features 30+ anonymous submissions of cat calls, drawings, prose, and more, all compiled, edited, stapled, and carefully laid out by Red Velvet. I’m super-proud to be included in this zine and hope more editions are forthcoming! If you want to buy it (a mere two doll hairs, people), head to her Etsy store.

The first photo above is me packing this zine to take to some feminist writer friends in Oregon.

FAULTS: Thank you.

A massive thank you to everyone in San Francisco who turned out (and stayed late!) for the FAULTS reading and release party last Friday night. In case you missed it, or in your drunken debauchery forgot to take a copy, we have plenty left.

$5, free delivery in SF, add $1.50 for postage if you are outside of the Bay Area. Write to me (or leave a comment) if you want to mail a check, or send via PayPal or Venmo.

Thanks again to all of our contributors, and especially Sumeet Banerji for the layout and Sirima Sataman for her letterpress.

FAULTS: a teaser.

Our fingers ache from binding 200 copies of our latest zine, FAULTS but we’re stoked to share it with you. If you can’t make the party in San Francisco tonight, drop a line to indexfist [at] gmail [dot] com and we’ll send you a copy (or local delivery by bike in SF proper!). Prose, poetry, and images from folks in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and of course, Fog City.

The making of FAULTS

We know, we know. You’re jonesing for an update about the next zine, FAULTS. You’re chomping at the bit for a sneak preview of this thing full of art, poetry, and prose, all bound together by hand. Actually by hand.

So here are a few photos of the time that Lulu and I spent at the gorgeous Ink Paper Plate Press, with its founder Sirima Sataman. Located in the heart of the Dogpatch, Sirima’s live/work studio space gets the best afternoon light and was a treat to play in. She was ridiculously generous with her time, materials, and knowledge, and we’re thrilled to have had her collaborate with us. Lulu and I printed over 200 covers by hand, as well as a few rainbow-inked posters for fun.

We’re releasing FAULTS in all its glory on Friday, August 16. Stay tuned for more info, or drop us a line if you want to be added to our mailing list: indexfist [at] gmail [dot] com.

Photo credits: Lulu Richter.

We’re making another zine: FAULTS.

Recently, three other San Francisco-based ladies-who-get-shit-done and I launched Habits of the Mouth, a zine of prose, poetry, and art from over 15 contributors. We’ve recovered from the debauchery and delights of our last release party and reading, named ourselves Index/Fist, and we’re now accepting submissions of more prose, poetry, and art for the next zine.

The theme? FAULTS. The release? August 2013.
We’d love for you to submit (yes, you). Submission guidelines and FAQS are below. Due to space constraints, we won’t be able to accept all of the work we receive. Feel free to pass this on to any faulty-minded friends or lovers. All contributors will receive one free copy of the zine.
Send a .doc or .docx version of your work and a short bio (35 words or less) to indexfist@gmail.com by July 1. Submissions should:

  • Be an inventive or classic variation on the theme “faults.” Wikipedia’s got some great ideas here.
  • Prose must be 750 words or less.
  • Poetry must be 45 lines or less.
  • Images (.jpg please) must be 300dpi. Due to difficultly reprinting, we currently do not accept photography.
  • Submissions will be read blind, so pleasedo not include your name in your attachment.
Simultaneous submissions are just fine, but please, no previously published work. We’ll let you know if we’ve accepted your work by August 1.

Questions? indexfist@gmail.com 

Hey, what’s a zine? Zines are self-published works with a limited distribution. They can be cut & paste photocopy jobs, bound journals, or a simple computer print-out stapled together. All of our zines are hand-stitched volumes made with extreme care. They are not for profit and are distributed within San Francisco and, upon request, across the US via mail.
How is this different from a literary journal? We’re bypassing traditional publishing norms and venues by printing, binding, and distributing a small collection of gorgeous books by hand. Our zines celebrate content and presentation. We make limited print runs. Read: you cannot get this on the Internet.
What kind of work are you looking for? Concise and compelling prose, poetry, and images that bend our idea of what FAULTS means. We appreciate works of all genres with distinct points of views, as well as images that can be easily reprinted.
Can I still submit if I don’t live in San Francisco? Damn straight you can. 
Why are you calling yourselves Index/Fist? Are you some sort of S&M group? Ha! Because it’s a bangin’ typographical symbol that desperately needs to get some more play in the printed world.  ☞ ☞ ☞

I don’t want to submit but I want to get a copy of the zine and come to the release party. How can I do that? 
By emailing indexfist@gmail.com those exact words.

Habits of the Mouth: The Zine.

So you might have heard that three other friends and I made a zine called Habits of the Mouth…but in case you haven’t, here are some photos to whet your whistle! Lulu, Rebecca, Francesca, and I asked dear friends, scattered near and far, to send us their mouthiest prose, poetry, and art.

We put it all together in the little book you see here, hand-bound by the ladies-who-get-shit-done-themselves. We had a baller reading and release party last week, and are already brainstorming for the next one.

But what’s that? You want a copy? You’re in luck: we’re in the midst of our second print run, so we’ll have zines to spare. If you’d like one of these bad boys for a mere $5, drop me a line. If you’re local to San Francisco (or the surrounding Bay Area), we’ll hand-deliver it. If not, snail mail is no problem.

Habits of the Mouth: a few photos.

A little teaser for ya! We (Rebecca, Lulu, Francesca, and I) hosted the zine release party and reading for Habits of the Mouth on Friday night. Beautiful night, wonderful people who were great listeners, friends who brought things, strangers who became friends, the list goes on.

We’re doing another print run of the zine because we ran out of copies, so give a shout if you’d like one ($3 each). More posts to come with photos of the zine and some of the work.

Photo credits: Lulu Richter (top) and Shashin Chokshi (bottom).