While wandering from room to room one sleepless night, writer Stevan Allred picked up a pencil and began to study it.
The pencil was yellow, with a green ferrule, and a pink eraser. The green ferrule had two yellow stripes painted on it, and the metal was stamped with a pattern of vertical lines. Someone, it occurred to Allred, had put a lot of thought into designing this pencil, a Dixon Ticonderoga HB #2.
Inspired by this object, Allred began writing about pencils, exploring his memories and feelings about this humble device. As he talked to his friends about his new found obsession, he discovered that the pencil possesses iconic properties. Everyone has a memory or a story about a pencil, so Allred invited his friends to write theirs down.
The result is Dixon Ticonderoga: a zine, and a literary anthology of flash writing, haiku, and art. Pencils are the occasion, but the stories take us from divorce to death, into the mind of a carpenter framing a wall, and to the bins at Goodwill. Along the way we pause in several schools, where pencils are used for much more than merely writing--they are weapons of war and love, and they are the tool that lets imagination run free.
As he says at the end of his opening essay, Dixon Ticonderoga is Stevan Allred's love letter to the pencil. In the true DIY spirit of zinesters, its very existence says 'Make art--this is how to survive and move on.'
Join us for a party to celebrate the release of Dixon Ticonderoga, featuring editor Stevan Allred and 11 other contributing writers and artists:
Joanna Rose, Elinor Shanklin, Cris Colburn, Lisa Colburn, Dale Woods, Peggy Skycraft, Steve Denniston, Jackie Shannon Hollis, Christi Krug, Kristin Kaye, and Harold Johnson. Light refreshments will be served.