Zine Review: Renaissance I

Renaissance I
Connor Ovenden-Shaw
8 pages

Renaissance I is an A6, full-colour zine of photography and poetry.

I feel like I’m always saying the same thing about poetry – most of it goes over my head, and I just like what I like – but here I am reviewing more poetry zines. What can I say? I’ll always keep reading poetry.

Renaissance I opens right into things with a handwritten note from 1949 on the front inside cover and a poem on (I believe) the quickly fading nature of fame and/or empty praise. From there we take in the combination of poetry, which often expresses feelings of sadness and things lost, as well as photography of various things.

The photography is personalised not only by the eye of the photographer taking the picture but also by sketches that have been drawn on them. I wish I could say what it reminded me of. Either way, I quite liked the added elements.

Connor’s writing often feels fuelled by depression: calm and accepting but with an air of despondency. There also feels, to me, that there is an air of nostalgia mixed into some of the poems as well. I can’t say I fully understood all of the poems – there were a couple of places where I felt like symbolism was being used but I didn’t click onto it. That said, these all of these poems made me feel something – and making someone feel something is the aim of any art.

For anyone curious, the back cover is the one that ‘got me in the feels’ the most.

Connor doesn’t include any socials in this zine, but a quick Google of their name will lead you to where you need to go. This is usually a nitpick of mine, but, to be honest, it feels like the right choice for this zine in a way I struggle to articulate. Perhaps if you have read or do read this zine, you will agree.

As always, the inclusion of a ‘1’ in the title has me smiling, because I do hope to see more of these. Connor’s writing is full of emotion, and I adore the element of drawing on the photos (something I’d like to try myself at some point).

Check this one out.

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