Most of us are deeply familiar with the way a shift in hormones amplifies even the most benign moment into a life-or-death situation requiring extensive livejournal*** rants and a deeply over-wrought soundtrack, a la any scene from the teen angst gospel according to My So-Called Life. There is something about collective experiences like these that begs to be documented. I want to know what playlist you made for your first day of high school. I want to know what movies you returned to again and again at sleepovers with friends. I want to know the particulars of what came before partying was the rule of the day--who did you confide in, who did you idolize, who did you want to be, who was in your garage band.
I want to know so badly that I'm curating a zine called, simply, teen angst. The idea for the zine came from a string of poems I've written for my National Poetry Month 30/30 challenge. In writing a poem every day for the month of April, I've produced several related to the music that got me through my teens. I've given prompts to friends asking them to do the same. The project grew legs from here, as music is not the only signifier of teen angst, only the most obvious. There are plenty of other places to go: the way we dressed, the arguments we had with our parents, the friends we made and lost during times of adolescent tumult. I can guarantee that every artist I know (and probably every artist I don't) has a tale of malcontent from growing up.
So we're going to make a zine about it. There are barely any rules for submissions. If you think it relates at all to the concept of teen angst, then it probably does, and I want to see it. I want your writing: poems, prose, flash fiction, scanned journal entries, screen-capped internet angst, any and all of it. I want your art: photos of your teen bedroom, paintings from your high school art class, collages of your favorite pages of Tiger Beat, comic strips, notebook doodles. Most of all, I want to see YOU as a teenager. Every accepted contributor will be asked to write their bio about their teenage self, and all contributor photos will be of the individual as a teenager. The zine will be a snapshot of the moment in our lives before we begin to come into our own, the moment when we are trying on all the different selves we could be. Depending on response, there may be several issues. teen angst: prom edition. teen angst: parents just don't understand. teen angst: first love. teen angst: the first song for your mixtape. The possibilities are endless.
Send your tales of teenage woe to submit to teen angst AT gmail DOT com. Follow the teen angst blog on tumblr for inspiration and updates on the project. Email me via the contact page and let me know if I'm forgetting anything essential. But most of all, I want to collect your stories for posterity.
***Speaking of livejournal, below you'll find the first entry from my high school livejournal, "leakslikeasieve," unfortunately from my junior/senior year. I wish there was some record of my freshman/sophomore tumult, but I'm pretty sure the Modblog platform I used back then is now defunct, and even if it wasn't, I wouldn't even know where to begin in trying to locate my login information or domain name. Enjoy!