Another Zine Alum Graduates from James W. Ray Orion Center’s Barista Program

By Shaun

KR Grad 3

During her time in Zine Project Seattle, Kristin was a rock star. With great attendance and focus, Kristin’s zine was an aesthetic dream.

Like a lot of our rock stars, Kristin was not only active with the creative parts of our program, she had great follow through with the Case Management part as well.

During Zine, Kristin moved into her own apartment through the support of her Zine Case Manager Kelsey and through the YMCA’s Shelter-to-Housing program. After she graduated zine, Kristin continued meeting with Kelsey in order to keep that apartment.  Shelter-to-Housing is a program for homeless youth staying in shelters; the program pays for portions of youth rent–portions that incrementally decrease, motivating youth to pay larger and larger portions of rent if they plan to hang on to their housing.

For Kristin, this meant getting a job after Zine.

Kristin, being Kristin, got two.

KR grad 1Through hard work coordinating with Kelsey and her YMCA supports, Kristin overcame some emotional hurdles, gained confidence and started pounding pavement until she secured jobs at Barista and at a restaurant.

Eight weeks later, we enjoyed the fruit of her labors: some great coffee tamped by her skilled hands and another successful employment experience, getting her ready for many more to come.

Nice job Kristin! KR Grad 5

Click here to read a copy of Kristin’s zine Loved, Lost, Lived. 


True Beauty

a poem of Edward aka Trae Beats 

Girl at Piano, photo by EW

Girl at Piano, photo by EW

 True beauty is innocence,
Like a song from a child,
Or forgetting the past and becoming the present,
True beauty,
Is togetherness and positive compulsion,
To know who you are,
As one and as all,
A true smile or a real friend,
True beauty,
To love YOU when no one loves themselves,
To not be defined….

I Am

a poem by Jordan

I am like the sun
Beating down on the hot sandy beaches of California
I watch as the seagulls tear at a dead fish like rabid beasts.
Their beaks like razors
Their talons like razor sharp needles.
I am like the ocean
Waiting for the people to come
Hopes and dreams fill my head and
Like a balloon my head pops,
Like a dried up river bed all my hopes and dreams are gone,
Now I just sit here waiting for someone to come around.

Lesson of the Day: Point of View

By Zine Instructor Shaun

Whether consciously or unconsciously, an artist always takes a perspective in creating a piece.  A photographer chooses an angle, a writer chooses a point of view.

It’s one of the many literary concepts we cover in Zine.

Traditionally, there are three points of view.

First person (I, we)

Second person (you)—rare

and Third Person (he, she, they).

In Zine, I work to get young people writing about their emotions, their stories and who they are. Consequently, most of the writing that happens in zine is in the first person, intimating the author’s experiences.

Every so often, I ask zine interns to write from a different “I”.

In the case of this activity, I asked them to choose a person that’s marginalized by society and write from their perspective. To do this, youth writers had to use a combination of their imagination and their own experiences to intuit the thoughts of “the other”.

They put their pens to page and set out on a writer’s bold and difficult task to give voice to society’s voiceless. Here’s what they came up with:

 Marginal Voices

1.)  I am the one you see on the street corner every day, but you won’t even talk to me. Every day you see me you look at me in disgust and you say “get a job” or I’m sorry. if more people cared about life and the people in it, we wouldn’t have people like you, always making fun of me because of the way I look or even just the way I dress. My grandmother used to tell me that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. NOW IT’S YOUR TURN BE THE BETTER PERSON!!!!

2.) Holding this cardboard expression,
I remember the first time I did. Losing all hope remembering when I was a kid. Grown- ups quote, “stay in school, be a kid. Not small, dream big. Pour all your heart in it and see if it lives .”

But life happened. Life gave me this cardboard
I just stole the pen to carve my cry for help.
Cracked glass, I mean broken dreams
Don’t step on them– I’m still looking.

3.) As I sit here on this hard ass cot, waiting for my name to be called, I’m thinking about what I did to get myself here. I’m wanting to go back to that day when I made the choice that would change my life forever. I’m  thinking about how the world is going to be  in 2027. Is it going to be the same, felons and convicts can’t get a job or move forward with their lives, even after they already served their time and been categorized as screw ups, or will it be different? As I sit here  on this hard ass cot in this 8×4 ft cell and they call my name Inmate 1997521. I realize that once I get out ill never be the civilian Robert Alex Young. I’ll always be Inmate 1997521.


Thanks for writing, ziners. And thanks for reading, readers.

If inspired, sometime today, pick someone YOU see society marginalizing and write from their POV.

Hot Off the Presses!

Hey Zine fans,

May-July 2013 interns have just turned out a new collection of publications for your reading pleasure. Full of truth, full of life, each one captures the personality of its author.

So put your feet up this Tuesday afternoon and meet four amazing individuals with much to tell.

Be sure to comment encouragements or feedback.

Thanks for reading!

Girl Wrapped Up by Jazmane 

Click image for a sneak peek.
Click image for a sneak peek.

A hard hitting testament of abuse, familial confusion, unrequited love and community violence, this zine will wrap you up and put you through the wash of this young woman’s struggles. But in this zine of great trial, Jazmane also manages to emerge, through her writing, as the owner of a powerful voice and a mind able to reflect and rise above a pain-filled adolescence.

What’s Lying On The Inside by Christina

Cover Photo
Click image for a sneak peek!

Christina’s Zine is about having gone through so much when she was little and up until this point. It shows the struggle and the aspects of her life and what she has felt and how she is overcoming the situation. For being such a kid way back then, she has been through death and upon those deaths she has experienced the feelings of loneliness, depression, and sense of suicidalness. The things that are within her gives a different perspective on what people go through when they are a kid.

The Connect by John aka Tiny Dousha 

Click image for a Sneak Peek!
Click image for a Sneak Peek!

This Zine is for musicians and music lovers everywhere. Whether looking to get in to the music business, or whether you’re a lover of musical poetry, The Connect is for you. The Connect includes prose on how to make it in the music business and original lyrics by the writer, who proves his promise as an emcee. Color and sound abound in this exciting compilation so get connected now!

My Zine by Jordan

cover page

Jordan is a young writer from Santa Barbara, California. In Jordan’s short story he talks about his passions and what he loves to do the most.  One of those things is long boarding. Jordan loves long boarding so much. He also talks about life and what it really means to him. Over the course of 9 months of being in Seattle he’s learned to be strong and keep to himself. Jordan’s zine is powerful because of the fact that it’s nothing but the truth and I encourage anybody to read and enjoy.

How it Really Was

A poem by Anthony

Back in the day, we were poor but somehow
my mom always managed to get by every month .
We didn’t have very much money or food and clothes
but we did have each other as a family and plenty of love
and grandpa which is my mom’s dad.
I remember in the Fall we’d be inside hibernating because all of the rain.
In the winter we would go outside the hotel or motel to play in the snow.
And in the spring we would be outside playing with our friends.
We didn’t always know if we would have a place to sleep at night.
I miss the middle school days hanging out with all my friends.
I miss the summer time. I love it when it’s warm.
I don’t miss the nights where we would have to sleep in a motel or the hotels
that we would stay in because my mom was barely getting by,
and I ‘am glad I don’t have to do that shit any more.
When I think of how it was, I feel good
because I know my mom would keep us safe.
We would always have food in our bellies.

Seattle Rain

A poem by John  aka Tiny Dousha 

Stencil by John

Stencil by John

Had a dream I was in heaven but woke up here instead.
My pillow’s super wet— I must have water in my head.
All I need is an umbrella to keep the rain out of my eyes.
So easy to slip up when you’re not focused on the prize.
My mission is to rise, way above the struggle
More than a 9to5, greater then I daily hustle.
So many slip up because life is such a tussle–
Haters in these streets just looking to pop your bubble
But at the same time it shapes and it molds ya.
Best part of the day like a cup of Folgers.
This is Tiny Dousha   if u don’t know the name.
I  Could tell you a thousand stories of joy, sadness and pain
Just not a head nod, I hope its knowledge you retain.
Listen! you can hear the city sing–that Seattle rain, that Seattle rain.

This Poem is For My Sister

a poem by Carrie

This poem is for my sister
I’ve watched you grow
From a short-tempered, spoiled brat
To a kind, generous, and beautiful
Young lady
Your heart is one of the purest things
On this marred planet
Your smile could bring world peace
To say that you’re like Mother Theresa
Would be an insult to you
Your wit and humor is my favorite part about you
Jim Carrey (and we know he’s my favorite) has nothing on you
You’re smart and you’ve got
A good head on your shoulders
But I’ll give you some advice:
Don’t settle because of the mundane
Traditions of this day and age
Make waves
But don’t crash the boat
Think everything through
But most importantly
Remember that I love you
And no matter what,
I will ALWAYS be your big sister