Gallery of Defunct Duluth Literary and Arts ’Zines

In addition to the various (“legitimate,” if you will) literary and arts magazines and journals in the Duluth area, past and present, there is a long tradition of renegade ’zines circulated for short periods of time. What’s technically the difference between the two? Well, a magazine or journal tends to have a glossy cover and be governed by an institution or a nonprofit board of directors. A ’zine tends to be printed on a photocopier for limited circulation and produced by an individual or disorganized group.

It’s not always easy to distinguish one type of publication from the other, but for the purposes of this post the more official stuff — Split Rock Review and Aqueous, for example — have been classified as journals and are not included. Those are both still in existence, also, and the gallery below is of publications that are no longer in production.

And what about the Transistor? By virtue of it being the king of Duluth ’zines, it’s just a little too prestigious for this list. Adam Guggemos’ weekly publication lasted for 15 years and was widely circulated, making it not quite fit in with the fly-by-nights below. But the “Tranny” was printed like a ’zine and would have been classified as one if not for its longevity and broad readership.

Also not included below are the various journalistic and music-focused ’zines. Those will be included in separate posts in the future. There are also no chapbooks by local poets featured here; those are also a slightly different breed than ’zines.

Enough palaver, here are the goods:

All Black Zine was first published in September 2014 and lasted four issues, then reemerged in January 2016 and lasted four more issues spanning into November 2017. It was coordinated by Jordon Moses with graphic design by Kholo Matsafu. The goal was to support, organize and expand creative spaces for people of color and to “highlight music, poetry, written works, as well as thoughts, ideas, organizers and activists.”

Minerva was published by Laura Gapske from about 2012 to 2016 with the mission to promote women and encourage consciousness raising on issues relevant to women through the use of art, collage, images and words.

Prøof Magazine was published in 2013 and 2014 as the literary and arts magazine of Prøve Gallery. Maybe it was official enough to list as a full-on magazine, since the word “magazine” is part of the name of the publication, but for now we’ll categorize it a ‘zine.

It’s not clear how long the Washington Studios Artist Cooperative’s ’zine existed, but the fifth issue is dated April 2011.

Time Killer/Filler spanned 2008 and 2009 and was put out by Seth Feralin.

The Mad Culpa is undated, doesn’t list a publisher, and really contains no indication it was published in Duluth, other than that a copy of issue #1 is in Perfect Duluth Day’s archive with various other Duluth ’zines.

Annexia was published by Jeffrey Harrison and Tarissa Wilson, launching in April 2008.

Circa 2005 brothers John and Luke Holden published poems and drawings in a tiny ‘zine called Detrimental Information.

Jessica Hall published Milk as a monthly beginning in January 2005.

The Pretentious Metaphor was published quarterly by Bob Monahan in 2003 and 2004.

Crytal Acorn, “a literary fairy publication,” was published by Nathan Ness in the late 1990s (the issues aren’t dated).

Wisteria was the student literary journal at UW-Superior during the late 1990s. It was produced by a campus group called the Writer’s Block.


What literary and arts ’zines are missing from this gallery? Make the omissions known in the comments. And if you’ve got better details about the ’zines featured above, make that known as well.



David Beard

about 5 years ago

Shout-out to the Jefferson People's House, the last place I knew in Duluth where one could buy cool zines.

David Beard

about 5 years ago

And I want to read this:

I’ve Been to Duluth
Creator: Alexandra Rose Stillman
Place of Publication: Minneapolis, MN, U.S.
Abstract: Sketches of the author's most recent visit to the North Shore, Lake Superior.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

David, thanks for reminding me of the All Black Zine. I failed to pick up a copy when it was in circulation and then it slipped out of my mind. I've added it to the post now.

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Read previous post:
The Magnolias – “Playing to Win” Twin Cities punk band the Magnolias advise hiding away in Duluth on the song "Playing to Win" from the...