Greetings and salutations!
Over last weekend at Scranton Zinefest, I sold my last copies of King of Soil. I released the zine about a year ago at DC Zine Fest in July 2017. It went on to have pages featured in the Baltimore Beat, be added to the reading library at Press Press in Baltimore and to sell 50 copies, making it my first zine to sell out. (I only print 50 copies of my zines.)
The zine was new territory for me in many ways. First, the cover is a collage I made. Second, it contained not only poetry, which I’m comfortable writing, but my photography and activities to heal and reaffirm oneself.
I specifically wrote this zine for men, Black men, to let go of the destructive behaviors and ideologies that are thrust upon us in this hypermasculine society. We too feel. We have emotions. Violence is generally an unhealthy way to process emotions–but it’s the only way that society deems appropriate for men, “real men,” to process their emotions. In order to truly heal and to create a safe and welcoming world, we must reject this.
Again, I wrote this zine with Black men in mind. I was pleasantly surprised that men, women and non-binary people of all races and backgrounds gravitated towards this zine. I am glad that my words of healing resonated with people outside of my target audience. I am grateful to everyone who purchased this zine, or who stopped by my table, read it and felt my words within.
King of Soil lives on as a digital zine. If you missed out on getting a physical copy, you can read it for free here.
Give a poet a pen,
A. J. Hayes