New student publication seeks to proliferate photocopy-culture

Mark Robinson
Staff Writer

A new addition to VCU student media is in the works: pink flyers currently posted around campus advertise Detritus, a conglomerate of poetry, writing, photography, art and “pretty much anything that can be photocopied.”

Detritus ads, featuring a spraypaint-stenciled silhouette of a woman carrying a whip (“ARE YOU WILLING TO SUBMIT?”), seek submissions in the form of “poems, short stories, drawings, doodles, macaroni art, collages … Pretty much all submissions accepted.”

The monthly publication is the project of Literati, a VCU book and movie club. The idea to create Detritus came from the experimental zine-making sessions at Literati’s weekly meetings.

Prolific zine-scene author Chip Rowe, in his 1997 book “The Book of Zines: Readings From the Fringe,” defines “zines” as “cut-and-paste, ‘sorry this is late,’ self-published magazines … They touch on sex, music, politics, television, movies, work, food, whatever. They’re Tinkertoys for malcontents.”

Literati members describe Detritus, the so called “zine about nothing,” as a fun, lightweight publication that accepts submissions from everyone. “We’re not just looking for the best writers and artists,” says Senior Lane Russo, a member of Literati and contributor to Detritus. “We want everyone to contribute to the zine.”

Literati hosts many events throughout each week in which they seek to “create open forums for discussion about literature, film and writing.”  The group meets in Hibbs Hall in room 308 or 330 to watch movies, play scrabble, knit and host an event called Poetea on Fridays where they read poetry over tea. In addition to inviting Detritus submissions, Literati’s Facebook invites science fiction fans, poetry lovers, comic book enthusiasts, Scrabble geeks and movie nuts to come out and see what the group has to offer.

A special interest meeting for, as Detritus editor Alana LaSala put it, “Detritus contributor wannabes,” will take place in Hibbs 329 on Sep. 16 from 7-8pm.

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