RAZORCAKE, Issue 129, June/July 2022

Manifest (zine) is packed with striking visual and literary output from 16 contributors, including Jen Payne. Issue #7, published in spring 2022, entitled Water contains quotes, poetry, prose, photography, original artwork, and a front and back cover that reflect the theme of water. Juliana Harris contributed the poem “Poseidon’s Ex-wife, Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely the poem “Wishes of Fish;” Tara Buckley the prose “Ode to a Spring, and so on. Artwork includes Rhonda Longo’s painting of a lighthouse, Laurel Valli’s collage of the sea, and more. In her introduction to Manifest (zine), Payne says “water is inspiration and memories, respite and connection. Water is home.” Maybe readers of Manifest (zine) will find connection to their relationship with water in its pages.” — Gina Murrell

The Ken Chronicles, #62 (February 2022)

“One of the most beautiful zines I’ve read lately has been Refuge, part of the Manifest (zine) group from Jen Payne…If you appreciate fine photography, thoughtful poetry and prose, as well as an ingenious arrangement and professional quality layout and production…well here it is! Using her own straight photos, collages, or vintage postcards as impressive visuals, she writes about something as simple as soap, a storm during the pandemic, and how she misses having lunch with an old friend before COVID. There are also quotes by the likes of Rainer Maria Rilke and grandmotherly advice passed down to Elena Mikhalkova. As an added bonus, Jen inserts various things loosely within the pages like a recipe for a classic negroni cocktail, a quote from Elena Harris about spirit animals, and tickets to an unnamed event. I could go on for many more paragraphs, extolling all the virtues of Jen’s zines, but the bottom line is that you’d still have to see them for yourself if you want to be as impressed as I am with her work.”

Nyx, SEA GREEN ZINES (January 2022)

“The design of this zine is lovely. The paper is so nice and smooth, and the colour printing goes all the way to the edge…I love contemplations of self and various forces in the universe, so this zine is definitely one for me. Combine it with Jennifer’s art style, and you have a much-enjoyed read for me. This is such a fun, creative zine, and I’m so happy to have more in the series. I definitely recommend checking it out.” (Read the Full Review)

Scott Bryson, BROKEN PENCIL (November 2021)

“The result is essentially a portable contemporary art exhibit…It’s clear a lot of effort went into this little booklet. Payne’s focus on physical quality (paper, image, colour assembly) alone makes it worth the price of admission.” (Read the Full Review)

Dayna Moth, ZINE REVIEWS (September 2021)

“I am so glad that publications like MANIFEST (zine) exist in the world…this series is unlike any other zine I’ve seen before. For one thing, issues of MANIFEST are printed in full-color, full-bleed, which you don’t see often in zine-land. But sheer specs aside, it’s the meat of these zines — the content — that makes MANIFEST stand apart from the pack. Each issue of MANIFEST (zine) follows a theme, around which Jen cobbles together their poems and essays with art, quotes, and found imagery. But that is putting things too simply: these aren’t just words on a page, printed next to a nice illustration. This is an entire visual experience. The words and illustrations mingle and dance, creating something greater than the sum of their parts.…MANIFEST (zine) is like a love letter to the art of self-expression. ❤️ I very much dig it. (Read the Full Review)

The Ken Chronicles, #60 (August 2021)

“Jen Payne is it talented artist and writer who publishes Manifest (zine)…I’ve seen plenty of zines over the years that are filled with photos, illustrations, or other work, and — as good as they might have been — they’re usually a quick read, kind of like a portfolio, with limited holding power. Not so with Jen’s creations. Each issue contains monochrome or full color drawings, paintings and illustrations — sometimes as a background other times as the main subject. Then there is poetry, prose, or other text added to convey separate stories or ideas. Turning each page rewards the reader with an unexpected visual or visceral treat; these are truly miniature art installations. By now I think you’ll understand why I enjoyed Manifest so much and why I heartily recommend each issue.”

Interview, COIN OPERATED PRESS (December 2020)

“Jen Payne is no stranger to the zine phenomenon. Her first zine —The Latest News — came out in the early 1990s during the golden age of Factsheet Five and Mike Gunderloy. Since those early days writing The Latest News, Jen has enjoyed putting her writing out into the world through the online lit/art journal Creative Soup, her blog Random Acts of Writing (www.randomactsofwriting.net), and as part of art installations, literary magazines, and anthologies. Her most recent effort, Three Chairs Publishing, is a vehicle for her four published books and other creative projects, like Manifest (zine). (Read the Interview)

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