a meekling press zine project – pages due december 15th

come make a zine with us

Hi friends! Long time, no blog. We’re going to be participating in a great event at the Chicago Cultural Center this week, and we’d like you to join us if you can! We’ll be there on Saturday, December 4th from 1-2pm working on a zine project, and if you’re there too, we’ll have some typewriters and gluesticks and collage stuff to cut up and some other things probably, and we can make some pages together. (If you can’t make it this weekend, send us something through email or drop something off in a drop box we’ll leave down there at the exhibition site later this week.)This is part of the Red Rover Reading Series’s event “Reading Experiment in Progress”, a whole week of events at the Cultural Center — which is also part of Lumpen’s “Successful Failures” exhibit — featuring lots of artists from around Chicago. I’ll put more info from them about that below, but first some details about our project and how you can participate:

the prompt/theme of the zine!

Write, doodle, draw, paint, sketch, collage, compose, collaborate, collect, communicate your vision of the world you are working towards. What does it look like? How do we take care of each other? What do we eat? Where do we live?

a few guidelines

  • Your page should be 4.25 inches by 5.5 inches (a quarter of a letter-size sheet of paper), or if it’s not, we’ll resize it to fit
  • If you don’t want to be anonymous, please include your name on your page somewhere. If you do want to be anonymouse, that’s perfectly fine too.
  • Have fun. We’ll probably reproduce the zine in only one or two colors and your page might end up looking a little different because of that.

how to submit a page to the zine project:

Here are your options:

1) Come join us on Saturday afternoon 1-2 pm to work on it in person together

2) Email a page that’s 4.25 x 5.5 inches big to meeklingpress@gmail.com (that’s a quarter of a letter-size paper)

3) Pick up a submission sheet at the Cultural Center XPO site (where all the performances are happening). We’ll have sheets and set up a box to drop them in by this Wednesday afternoon. Sort of a scavenger-hunt/wild goose chase option for you adventurous ones.

Red Rover Series presents
“Reading Experiment in Progress”

Mini live free events
November 30th-December 5th
at the Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Street
in the NFO XPO of the Michigan Ave galleries
**covid protocols in full effect so please mask up**
https://tinyurl.com/redroverseries <<< Click here for the full lineup

Readings, performances, talks, rehearsals,
improvisations, meditations, writing sessions
+ more featuring Chicago writers & artists
as part of the Lumpen exhibit “Successful Failures”

Curated by Jennifer Karmin
& inspired by Red Rover’s ongoing collaboration
with 100 Thousand Poets for Change, our focus is:
How can we create change in the world right now?

Flummery: Meekling Talks 12/3

Come out & join Meekling’s Department of Continuing Education for our final TALK of the season, with an evening of flummery. This event is a great event for lifetime learners, and for people who want to know things, regardless of the facts.
Thursday December 3rd, 8pm
Tritriangle, 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Floor, Chicago
$5 Suggested Donation

Tonight’s talks will feature flummery & lecturing by our distinguished speakers—

GUY EYTAN in conversation with a gate (McKinlock Gate at Northwestern University Chicago Campus)

JAY BESEMER on The Sexual Practices of Popular Diacritical Marks

ANNA WOLFE-PAULY on Wind Reading

Things that should not be picked up in the first place

Do you like going out on a Monday Night? Do you want to see a great performance? Huh? Huh?

Why don’t you come visit us at the Meekling Press headquarters, AKA Jura$$ic Park, tomorrow (MONDAY NOVEMBER 16) for a performance of Becky Grajeda’s

Things that should not be picked up in the first place: part 4

November 16, at 7:30pm, 2059 N. Racine Chicago IL

Here’s a clip from a previous performance in this series:

In Becky’s words:

Existing somewhere between sound and comedic art, Becky Grajeda’s “Things that should not be picked up in the first place” is a series of performances in which a panel of Chicago-based artists and non-artists improvise a conversation, while embedded in a live mix of sound art and/or music. Grajeda and fellow panelists will discuss topics ranging from the banal to the socially relevant, together devising, deconstructing, and perfecting absurd concepts and contexts. The live mixed sound art will disrupt and inform the panelists’ conversation, each taking turns at the periphery of the soundscape.

Becky Grajeda
Nicholas Davis, sound and performance artist, member of Meekling Press
Neal Markowski, musician, sound artist, founder of the Single Action Rider label
Jacob Layne Miller, writer/actor/director, producing partner at Gratuity Not Included Productions

Tickets: $10

“Things that should not be picked up in the first place” is being developed during Grajeda’s Artist Sponsorship at High Concept Labs, Chicago.



Chill Horizons coming SOON SOON



July 14 2015. The New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto, snapping pictures, gathering data, and creating, in effect, a “scientific bonanza” while giving witness to previously unseen and uncharted sights on the edge of our solar system. We launched our Chill Horizons Chapbook Series in solidarity, an effort where we sought glimpses of beauty and darkness and hybridity in the hidden contours of the literary cosmos.

And after months of diligent work and preparation, we are proud to announce our findings.

Chill Horizons Chapbook Series will consist of seven books released over a series of seven months, or slightly more than half the time it takes to make one revolution around the sun. The first fifty chapbooks include a limited edition print as a centerfold to accompany the text. The final line-up includes works by:

Heather McShane
Suman Chhabra
Evelyn Hampton
Holly Lee Warren
Hannah McHugh
Mairead Case
Brad Vogler

Additionally! Full subscriptions to the Chill Horizons series are now available. The cost? $40—a meager amount, which will bring not only the delight of a new chapbook in the mail each month, but also it will help us fund this series and others like it.

We can’t wait to unveil them. We hope you will join us in this exploration.

Back to School with Meekling Dept. of Cont. Ed.

The information presented by these distinguished lecturers may be fabricated, but that makes it no less useless. Please join us for the first evening in our 2015 fall lecture series: Meekling TALKS: Confabulations.


1550 N. Milwaukee, 3rd Floor, Chicago
8pm, October 8, 2015
$5 suggested donation

Facebook Event

The Clairaudient at Work

Nicholas Davis describes and demonstrates his practice of CLAIRAUDIENCE, receiving audio signals from creatures & objects that have passed beyond the grave, from aliens in the farthest reaches of space, and from the deepest depths of the human psyche. Supernatural or just super? You be the judge.


Understanding Molecular Typography by H.F. Henderson.
Understanding Molecular Typography by H.F. Henderson.


Woody Leslie explores H.F. Henderson’s UNDERSTANDING MOLECULAR TYPOGRAPHY, and the system explained therein of deconstructing letters into their constituent molecules. Will this change the way you interact with words, language, communication with your peers? Will you soon see the letters on the page start to dissolve into vibrating strings right before your eyes? Yes, probably!

‘A smell of printing / in the kitchen’: small press letterpress

A couple months ago, we got to be a part of a gallery show on small press letterpress at Colorado College. This was very exciting for me personally, because I’m #1 fan of Aaron Cohick who runs the press at Colorado College (& NewLights Press), and also some of the other presses in the show, like Coracle, were big inspirations when starting Meekling Press… and of course, continue to be.

Photos by Briget Heidmous, courtesy of I.D.E.A. Space @ Colorado College. More documentation here.

I also learned about some truly awesome presses I hadn’t been aware of before. Further Other Bookworks !! makes such beautiful books and prints. Timeless, Infinite Light are just my kind of weird. And I feel like Small Fires Press is a kindred spirit.


A couple of new publishing projects

Here are a couple of neat-looking publishing projects I’ve heard about recently. They are both taking submissions right now, so get on it!


REAEDR: “A magazine of one word poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.” I am a big fan of NewLights Press, and I can’t wait to see how this magazine turns out. They’re currently taking submissions for the first two issues. Submissions for Issue One (“WAR”) are due June 5th, and for Issue Two (“FUCK EM IF THEY CANT TAKE A JOKE”) on September 1.


LED (Literature Emitting Diodes): An LED display in a storefront window somewhere in Chicago, with a different poem or short prose piece every month. Sounds like a really fun project! The submission deadline is the fifth of every month.

How to Make a Clamshell Box


I’m making a bunch of clamshell boxes for the “fancy” edition of Dan Ivec’s book, On the Stairs. So I thoughts I’d share the fun, with a tutorial about how to make clamshell boxes. Enjoy!



You will need:

  • ruler
  • sandpaper
  • knife
  • bone folder
  • pencil
  • brush
  • wood glue
  • pva glue (i dilute it with a little bit of water or methyl cellulose)
  • bookboard or chipboard – medium to thick
  • paper or book cloth to cover your box



Measure the trays for the clamshell box directly from the object you’re building the box for, so it’ll fit nicely in there. To find the height and width of the inner tray base, take the size of the object and add one board thickness. In the picture above: the width of the tray base is the width of the object plus one board thickness. Cut these pieces using a straight edge and a sharp knife. The tray will need three walls:


Once you have all of those cut out – and be sure to get your corners square – you can sand any rough edges down. Now you are ready to glue the pieces together for the inner tray!

Spread out some wood glue on a scrap piece of board like so:


Be sure to put down some scrap paper so you don’t make a big gooey mess on your nice table! Place the edge of the base into the wood glue to get the entire edge covered evenly, wiping the excess glue off by tilting the board and wiping it against the piece of scrap as seen below. Then press the glued edge onto the wall piece you have just cut. You can secure it there with a bit of masking tape while it dries.


Attach the other two walls in the same way, and then use some bricks or other weights to press the boards together until the glue dries, about 30 minutes.



Now, get out your pretty pretty paper or book cloth, because we’re going to cover the inner tray. The paper or cloth for this part will have to be two times the height of the walls, plus 1 ½ inches, and then long enough to wrap around all three walls with ¾ to spare on either end.

Take your brush and spread some PVA glue onto one of the short walls of your inner tray, then press it down onto the strip of cloth so that closed side is ¾ inch away from the edge:


Then flip it over & smooth out any bubbles with your bone folder. Continue in the same way for the other two walls, smoothing down each side with a bone folder as you go, until you have something that looks like this:


Next, we’ll glue the bottom flaps onto the base of the tray. Pinch the corners and cut them with scissors, then glue the cloth down and smooth with the bone folder.


You’re going to have to make some fancy cuts to make the cloth (or paper, if you’re using pretty papers) fit into the inside of the tray. I’ve made a couple of different diagrams of the cuts below.




OK! Once you’ve got all those tricky cuts made, glue the tabs down in the following order:

Start with the open side of the tray, and then glue down the short walls before the longer wall:


Your bone folder is your friend, really be sure to tuck the cloth into the corners. 🙂


YOWZA: almost done with that part! But you’ve got to cover up that unsightly bookboard peeking out at you. Cut a piece of paper & glue in on there, pulling it over the edge & onto the bottom of the tray. The paper should be slightly smaller than your tray so it doesn’t go quite all the way to the walls, and it should be wide enough to overhang the open edge.


Very nice.


The inner tray fits neatly into the outer tray when the box is closed. The construction of the outer tray will be exactly the same as for the inner tray – hooray! The measurements for your boards are below:


Follow the directions for the inner tray.


Cut your boards for the case. You will need two covers (front + back) and a spine.


Cover height: Outer tray height + 2 board-thicknesses
Cover width: Outer tray width + 1 board thickness
Spine height: Same as covers
Spine width: outer tray wall height (don’t add anything to this or it will sit funny!)

Cover the boards with glue (PVA) and then place them glue-side down onto a piece of book cloth like in the picture above. If you’d like to cover the case in paper you can do that too, but it’s best if the spine is at least attached to the covers with book cloth, which is more flexible and durable than paper. Flip it over and smooth it out with a bone folder to get rid of any boops & bubbles!


Use your bone folder to work the book cloth down into the creases.


Cut a piece of book cloth about 1 ½ inches wider than the spine, and 1/8 smaller than the inner tray height. Brush the back of it with glue and adhere it to the inside of the spine, smoothing it out with a bone folder and working it into the creases:


Put the finished case under a weight to prevent it from warping as the glue dries.


Alright, this is the last step! Good job! You’re going to take the two trays you made and attach them to the case using wood glue for a super strong & sturdy box. Spread wood glue over the bottom of the inner case (the smaller of the two) using a scrap piece of board. Try and get the glue all the way to the edges without going over.


Carefully place the tray down onto the case so that the inner edge is all the way up against the inner edge of the cover, with an even lip around the outside edges of the tray:


Finally, spread wood glue over the bottom of the outer (bigger) tray. Place the outer tray upside down over the inner tray, and then close the outside cover over it. Press gently with your fingers, then carefully open the case up again. Everything should be in its proper position…


Put some weights (or heavy books) in the open box for an hour, and then close the box and leave it overnight with weights on top.

Good luck!