The world’s lowest literary art,
the world’s most liberal
literary art without rules; “ZINE”
~ Ayano Mori (Translated from Japanese)
Late last year I was approached by HEAPS Magazine – a NY-based Japanese digital magazine targeted towards Japanese audiences all over the world – for an interview & feature on my “Poems for Mum” zine. Here’s a bit of info on this awesome publication:
(HEAPS Magazine is…) The magazine of which searches for a culture story that advances people and society and conducts original coverage. From youth culture to politics, we will respond to the “keywords surrounding us today” through cultural stories around the world.
~ HEAPS Magazine Statement (Translated from Japanese)
Ayano, an editor at HEAPS, tells me HEAPS Magazine covers “all sorts of topics from subculture, minorities, lifestyle, music, start-ups, social good, ethical trends to community with the mission; inspiring readers, especially young generation, to explore new horizons and to think with a fresh outlook through stories stemming from NYC, the U.S. and all across the globe.”
My “Poems for Mum” photo/poetry zine is featured in the January edition of ‘Zines of the Month – Editors Pick’ alongside two other zines that focus on Mother/Daughter relationships.
The world’s lowest literary art, the world’s most liberal literary art without rules; “ZINE”. This month I will introduce three books with the theme of “Mother and Daughter”. A mother who always wraps her love deeper than the sea has the same “thoughts of that time.”
~ Ayano Mori (Translated from Japanese)
For those that can read Japanese the feature is available by clicking right here.
For those that cannot read Japanese & are not confident in GoogleTranslate’s ability to faithfully translate such a piece, here are the interview questions & my answers in English:
~ When, where, who and why did you start this zine?
I made the zine while I was staying at my parents’ home in 2017. My Mother’s 60th birthday was soon, so I wanted to make something meaningful and special for the occasion. I went through my childhood belongings and collected the best poems I had written for my Mother throughout my life as well as my favourite photographs and turned them into a small, handmade zine.
~ Can you tell us a little bit about yourself/ background?
Originally heading down the path to becoming a doctor in my early 20’s, I uprooted my life in order to follow my true passion of filmmaking. My first major short animated film, ‘The Last Artist’, premiered at and won Chicago Shorts Fest, and has screened at over 70 film festivals, from Sydney to Kosovo. I currently work as a freelance stock photographer/animator and am working on my next short film.
~ What is this zine’s concept?
I created this zine with the hope that people would relate to the poems in the zine and be reminded of cherished memories with their own Mother. I also hoped that the poems could be a conversation starter, or a reminder of what a gift it truly is to have a Mother. I launched the zine on Etsy to coincide with Mother’s Day.
~ Please tell us a little bit about you and your mother? Do you and your mother having a good relationship like friends? Did you guys fight when you are a rebellious phase.
My Mother and I have always had a very close relationship, like best friends. She has been supportive of all my choices and always been the first person to help me when I need it the most. While we had some disagreements when I was a rebellious teenager she has always been able to see the good parts of me and stay hopeful that I would find my way back to the light.
~ Please tell us most memorial/precious story about you and your mother?
When I moved far from home to study at university I had an accident and fractured the bone in my leg. I was trapped because I couldn’t walk, didn’t have a car, didn’t have any friends or family close by and lived many hours from the airport. My Mother offered to fly down and help me get home, but she had just had shoulder surgery and her whole arm was in a sling. I told her not to come as she needed to rest, but she came anyway. We managed to get all my suitcases to the airport by buses, trains and trams despite both of us being crippled. Her determination to get me home safe despite being very injured herself is a reminder of just how lucky I am.
~ Did you give your zine to your mother? If so, how she like your zine?
I gave the zine to my Mother for her 60th birthday and she was very surprised and happy to receive it. She keeps a copy in her bookshelf so that any time she wants to read a poem she has the zine on hand.
Big thanks to Ayano from HEAPS Magazine for reaching out to me for this opportunity & for the brilliant write-up: “Poems for Mum” is perhaps my most personal poetry zine to date & I was a little nervous to discuss it at length, but I feel Ayano & the HEAPS team did my zine & my Mum justice with their feature.
In celebration of all Mums I am offering FREE worldwide standard delivery on ‘Poems for Mum’+ ALL additional purchases from my Etsy store