Marlee Grace is a dancer and writer whose work focuses on the self, devotion, ritual, creativity, and art-making. Her practice is rooted in improvisation as a compositional form that takes shape in movement videos, books, quilting, online courses, and hosting artists. Grace’s Instagram dance project Personal Practice has been featured in the New York Times, Dance Magazine, Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, and more.
Marlee’s most recent book is Getting to Center: Pathways to Finding Yourself Within the Great Unknown. She also recently self-published a book of advice based on her radio show, Friendship Village.
How did you get interested in zines?
In 2012 I went to the Chicago Zine Fest and couldn't believe my eyes. I was so inspired by the energy of the zoom, the hundreds of topics covered in zines, and how it felt to hold them all in my hands. The first zine I really got into wasDoris by Cindy Crabb. Cindy had made a zine called Filling The Void that was stories of people who had quit drinking. I was a year sober at the time and had never seen stories of sobriety by people like me. I wrote Cindy a letter to her PO Box which was listed on the front cover of an issue of Doris and to my delight she wrote back. I honestly think that letter is what kept me sober and launched me into what has now been over 10 years of not picking up a drink.
What are your zines about?
I have written zines about sobriety, how to stay centered, work addiction, and social media.
What are some of your favorite zines and zine makers?
My favorite zine is Doris by Cindy Crabb.
What do you think is the future of zines?
I have no idea! I feel a bit detached from zine culture at this time in my life. But I see more and more artists picking up the art of self-publishing. I think self-publishing and zines specifically are one of the most amazing ways to own your own power and gifts without waiting for anyone's permission to tell you it's good enough.
Why are zines important?
Zines are important because we hold them, we mail them to people which support the USPS, we hand them to other people who are struggling or in need of the information contained inside of them. From 2012-2016 I had a shop called Have Company where I sold other people's zines and the look on people's faces when they themselves or their stories in those little objects was one of the best feelings in the world. Zines are how we find ourselves and each other.