Ida at the March

Published quickly in 2017 to hand out at the Women’s March.

This Is Important issue #2 covers the many different ways that people have told a particular story. The story is of Ida B. Wells busting into the middle of the 1913 women’s march in Washington, DC where she had been told she would have to go to the back of the march rather than walk with the women from Illinois in the procession ordered by U.S. state.

cover of ida at the march zine

As I read up on this incident and on the march, inspired by the group Heterodoxy, and the histories of racism in the US and England’s feminist movements, I took notes for this later zine. Different sources told the story differently and I had to go back to original sources as far as possible. My suspicion was that Ida was not (as many sources claimed) the only black woman at the march. That just couldn’t be true!

The 1913 Women Suffrage Parade has infinite depth!

The result: Plumbed some depths of arguments between various white feminists at the time pro and con “letting” the black women from Chicago march with white women from Illinois. I found some fascinating and lovely records of the Alpha Women’s Suffrage Club from Chicago, and of a black women’s sorority that formed at Howard University specifically in order to march together in DC.

I see now that this march is going to be on the new $20 bill design in 2020. I wonder if it will be all about white woman on a white horse or if they might put an illustration of Ida in her sash and fancy hat. We’ll see.

About Scooters

About Scooters: a tiny zine from 2016. DIY information on wheelchairs, scooters, and powerchairs. Passed out free on many buses and BART stations. A new version is on the way!

cartoon of woman with wheelchair and laptop

Heterodoxy to Marie

heterodoxy zine cover

A tiny zine from a few years ago. This is on the history of Heterodoxy, a long-running feminist group in New York City from the early 20th century. There are archival boxes with material from the group in various university libraries.

One thing I noticed while reading up on Heterodoxy was vile racism from some members’ propaganda plays and articles and speeches. This led to a further zine, Ida at the March.

But, this zine was originally inspired by a conspicuous and deliberate absence from Wikipedia: Marie Jenney Howe’s page was redirected to her husband’s page. I ended up writing this zine to express my un-Wikipediable feelings. The other result, which is much calmer, is this article:

THIS IS IMPORTANT #1: Take Back the Narrative (Ongoing Action) by Andrea Hairston

THIS IS IMPORTANT is a new zine series from Burn This Press.

Issue #1 (December 2016) is Take Back the Narrative (Ongoing Action) by Andrea Hairston, playwright, novelist, and director. Take Back the Narrative was published originally on the Aqueduct Press blog, Ambling Along the Aqueduct and is reprinted as a zine with the author’s permission.

Here is a PDF of the zine! It is meant to be printed as a two-sided page, then cut along the long axis of the page. Then collate it, fold, and staple across the short edge.

Download the PDF(254K): THIS IS IMPORTANT #1

Thanks to Laura Henry for layout. And, homage to poet, rabble rouser, and bullshit artist F.A. Nettelbeck for his original THIS IS IMPORTANT zine series. I figure he would not roll over too hard in his grave if he heard I was ripping off his zine title.

ink and stamp logo

Mala piel / Bad skin

Bad skin is my translation of Mala piel, a poem by Carmen Berenguer. It’s about bodies, women’s body, color, texture, in a political anti-dissection of the conventions of anatomical description that catalogues our body parts. It made me think of Monique Wittig’s work The Lesbian Body, but written in densely disruptive neobarroque (or neobarroso) verses.

Mala piel branches into multiple directions or layers, evoking the history and landscape of ocean-faring indigenous people of Chile, who lived most of their lives in their doubled canoes. Women owned the boats and hunted shellfish underwater; men and boys were forbidden to learn how to swim, gathering eggs and other food on land.

tiny books

I had mixed feelings about surrounding the poem and translation with other stuff. Illustrations, a short encyclopedia entry about the history of the Kwashkar or Alcalufe people, a little quote from Helene Cixous “The Laugh of the Medusa” (“Le rire de la méduse”), a photo of Berenguer accepting a literary prize from Chile’s President Bachelet. In my impulse to provide context, I may be suffocating the work. It’s a poem best read multiple times or circularly. It’s strong and weird. Maybe it should stand alone. Why did I surround it with these trappings of legitimacy? While I love context and footnotes and glossaries and cheat sheets, biographies, research, and history, and fancy talk about decolonization, if you don’t love that stuff, please ignore it. Read the poem however you like!

As long as you love its stretchmarks and pores, and notice a little of the politics, I’m happy!

The cover of the book is warm brown and randomly speckled – Mohawk Kraft cardstock – and the pages are natural linen, 24 lb. I printed 250 and am planning on mailing 50 of them to Carmen.

Here is a video of Carmen Berenguer at a reading,



The first in this year’s series of tiny books is Daylighting, a long poem on the geography and history of a buried creek system of San Francisco. The creek formerly known as Islais goes under Alemany Boulevard and out into the Bay through Bayview and the Mission, where 101 and Cesar Chávez cross. The poem is a critique of the politics of the creek’s past, present, and imaginary futures.

Daylighting was printed in January 2011 in a run of 300 copies, and I’m still mailing it out to people on the Burn This Press list.

Here’s part of the promenade along the mouth of Islais Creek. It’s in Bayview, just north of Hunters Point and east of Potrero Hill.

Islais Creek Promenade

To get there, go east on Cesar Chávez under the 101 and 280 freeways. Turn right on Indiana Street and then onto Tulare. The broad shallow steps and sea walls could make a nice spot for skateboarding. If you continue around on 3rd St. and across the creek you may find a small park, or Building Re:sources, which sells a fantastic assortment of recycled junk.

View Larger Map

Here’s what the tiny books look like!

January book

I should note that much of the last verse is homage to an unpublished novel by Jo Spanglemonkey about the last woman in the world; the last generations had a political movement to re-green everything, tearing up pavements and trying to re-create some semblance of wild or Nature or something, erasing their evidence as best as possible to create new habitats for the inheritors of the planet. The last woman in the world wandered around the SF Bay Area, talking to her mother’s ghost and to her horse and dog. It’s completely unfair to make complicated literary references to an unpublished manuscript that will probably be different whenever it sees the light of day, but that suits me fine as it is also unfair to refer to shitty elitist cultural references that no one gives a flying fuck about, such as anything about classical music, flowers, a “famous” painting, New York, Paris, or some book about middle class people having massive yet quiet angst about their boring-ass lives. As “poetry” tends to do.

Hello world!

Hello from Burn This Press! 

Burn This Press will focus on poetry and politics, putting out tiny books, zine-like, with just a couple of poems each, a poem in its original language with translation(s), or a short essay. They will be free for interesting people as long as I can sustain printing and mailing them for free. Bigger books will still be as cheap as possible. If you’d like to get the free series, email me at with Burn This Press Free in the subject line.

Toast with Hello World printed on it by oskay
Photo by <a href="">Oskay</a>

The name is homage to the poet Alta‘s book “burn this memorize yourself”. Alta ran Shameless Hussy Press and is one of my poet-publisher heroes!

From 2000-2010, I ran Tollbooth Press, publishing poetry and translations. In the 1990s, I mostly published under the name Riot Grrrlz Outer Space or Evil Sisters Productions. Before that, I had various small magazines and books and broadsheets, including 4 issues of Ratatosk, a journal for fiction, poetry, and comics.

If you’d like to contribute something for Burn This Press to publish, please make it as un-boring as possible!

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