- Courtesy Of Dylan Griffin
- Zig Zag Lit Mag cofounder A. Jay Dubberly
Last fall, a pair of Vergennes writers launched Zig Zag Lit Mag, a semiannual publication dedicated to lifting up the voices of Addison County writers. On March 28, they released their second issue with a party at the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
The small black-and-white book can be found at libraries around Addison County, and the content — poems, fiction, nonfiction and photos — is also available online. Both issues were published with the help of a Vermont Community Foundation grant. Coeditor in chief A. Jay Dubberly says this issue particularly lives up to Zig Zag's mission of including a wide range of voices.
The adjunct professor, who teaches at the Community College of Vermont campuses in Rutland and Middlebury, says he's thinking about the future: developing a publishing house or going nonprofit to support the continued creation of the magazine.
The second issue, like the first one, is 64 pages — but its dimensions are bigger. Additionally, the mag has a new section for a featured artist and author.
This issue's artist is Andrew Knight, a freshman at Mount Abraham Union High School who edits his school's literary magazine. He created the cover art, a zigzagging arrangement of dinosaur-bone shapes that incorporates the name of the magazine. The featured author is Christina Caniyo of Vergennes, whose young-adult fantasy novel Death and the Underhouse will be published by 1st Ride Enterprises this year.
"The whole point [of Zig Zag] is to put people like that together," Dubberly says, pointing to the spread that positions photos and descriptions from Knight next to Caniyo's text.
"It's all the same; it's all writing," he continues. "This issue has writers from [ages] 16 to 76. We have chocolatiers, farmers, office assistants, professors, students [and] retirees. It's a true sample size of the artists within Addison County. Who's to say those people don't deserve celebration and publication?"
The editor calls "Harvest Time" by Sarah McGrath, a photograph of a young girl holding a watermelon, one of the most interesting he's ever seen. A photograph by Zig Zag Lit Mag, A. Jay Dubberly, Andrew Knight, Christina Caniyo, Sarah McGrath, Deborah Felmeth, of Waltham tells a different harvest story. Two people who could be father and child recline on the grass, relaxed and proud, staring down at a spread of freshly caught fish. The image's soft focus lends to its appeal.
Across the page is a short written piece titled "Crawfishin', Minnow Fishin', Fishin'," also by Felmeth, that recounts in precise and evocative language her efforts to gather bait for fishing excursions with her father.
Asked why he thinks it's important to publish Vermont writers, or even the smaller segment of them living in Addison County, Dubberly relates a story from a class he teaches at CCV. He was having trouble engaging his students until he assigned them a piece by an author who wrote of her time living in Vermont, now-deceased poet Lucia Perillo. Then "they started to care," he says.
"There are kids in that class who haven't left Vermont," Dubberly explains. Seeing a Vermont author in print motivated them, he suggests. It showed the students that the words printed on a page could be from your next-door neighbor. Or you.