Between 1992 -1996, during my late teens, I published a series of personal ‘zines. The first three editions I called Busy Bea’s Bush, as a play on Beatrice, my middle name. But I then got a bit shy about the title and decided to change to the more aggressive, less personal Beri-Beri (after the song by the Swiss band Kleenex) for the next two issues.
At any one point, I was corresponding with hundreds of people from across North America. Every day, I could expect a zine or letter waiting in my mailbox when I came home from high school. Yet once I started college in 1994, I had less time and less need to publish a zine and by 1996 I stopped all together. Beri-Beri no. 3 never reached beyond the draft stage.
But now, with the aid of modern technology, here at last is the Beri- Beri lost edition! It’s basically a look back at one year of my life (age 19) jumping from Antioch College to Boston to Pittsburgh to New York City before I disappear into ‘zine oblivion. Embarrassing as it is for me to share this now, some fifteen years later, I have to say I am proud of what I accomplished then and still carry myself with that riot grrrl empowerment in everything I do.
On a somewhat related note, ZineWiki has done a fantastic job collecting and cataloging zines from around the world. I was pleasantly surprised to find such comprehensive listings for both Busy Bea’s Bush and Beri-Beri. The Queer Zine Archive Project is a more genre specific web based project dedicated to archiving and sharing queer zines. Both are worthy of attention and support by anyone interested in independent publishing.