December 27, 2016

I haven't posted here in a while, but I have had a lot of stuff going on. So here is some information about recent poems & zines & interviews, upcoming events, and more.

The biggest news is that in October I finally, finally finished Reckless Chants #23. It took me four months, and it was a challenge the whole time, but I'm pretty proud of the result.

Reckless Chants #23 is a long-form personal essay about loss, grief, violence, trauma, and mental illness, and also strength and healing–all tied together with thoughts on tears, crying, and sadness. It is one of the hardest things I have ever written, and one of the most important things I have ever written.

You can read some excerpts here, or purchase it via my Etsy shop.

I wrote a piece for issue #1 of POPS: Parents on Parenting, about my son's autism spectrum diagnosis.

I have a piece about mix tapes in Paper & Ink #9. (Which is worth getting for many reasons, not the least of which is the cover art--a gorgeous trib...

August 19, 2016

I haven't updated this site in over two months. Half the summer I was too busy losing my mind (three cheers for anxiety and manic-depression!) to do much of anything other than survive, and the other half of the summer has been spent writing, making art, making zines, traveling a bit, doing readings, taking workshops, and generally having an awesome, albeit busy, time.

It's not that I have nothing to show for the summer - though it would be alright even if I didn't (I'm forever trying to train myself out of the capitalism-induced mindset that I have to be constantly "productive."). I've recently completed two zines.

Dimestore Ghosts is a zine/chapbook of poetry, prose, and prosepoetry that I’ve written in the past year–12 pieces in all. Most pieces have originally appeared in magazines or zines, or on my blog, but two have never been published before. This chapbook is about ghosts, lovers, relationships, sadness, crushes, drinking, and America, amongst other things.

Tattoos Fade is a comp...

June 1, 2016

I was all "I'm going to update this site on a regular basis" and "I'm going to do my serious blogging on this site," and yes, I'm still planning on staying on top of both of those things, but I've been busy! I moved to a new house, and then immediately had to get started on writing pieces for upcoming events and working on a new issue of Reckless Chants, plus doing more book-release preparation and recording my spoken word album, as well as trying to enjoy life by wandering and reading and cooking lots of delicious food. So here are some things to tide you over:


You can preorder Reckless Chants #23, which is about the punk rock records I think are Most Essential.


I've got a couple new poems up at Rising Phoenix Review: the ocean writes a letter to the moon and in a black and invisible dress.


You can stream a couple of the tracks from my spoken word album: Everything Has Changed; Nothing is Different / And I Don't Want to Live This Life.


I've started a video series wherein I talk a...

March 31, 2016

I've been so busy working that I haven't had time to update my website! The Girl With the Most Cake is coming out in April, followed by What We Talk About When We Talk About Punk in May. In the meantime, here are a few recent things for you to check out:


-Trust Yr Stupid Fucking Heart (a playlist/piece about springtime restlessness I wrote for Witchsong)

-Over Cocktails, Courtney Love Tells Me About Aging (a spoken word version of one of the poems from The Girl With the Most Cake)

-one tale, told three ways b/w last summer of girlhood (a mini-zine, which you can purchase on Etsy)

-and, if you're looking to book me for an event/interview me/do any kind of press about me or my writing...I now have a downloadable EPK!


More news to come, soon!

February 2, 2016

Sick of generic beer and boring readings?

Come to Beer & Zines!

Featuring readings by some of the midwest's finest zinesters:

Jonas, Julia Eff, Liz Mason, and Jessie Lynn McMains!

Plus, a Q&A with the zinesters, a zine reading area, delicious craft brews (& non-alcoholic root beer!), and more!

Jonas is a writer/zinester from Chicago. He penned the zines Cheer the Eff Up and Fixer Eraser, as well as edited several compilation zines such as Srviv #1-3. In 2014 he released his first novel, The Greatest Most Traveling Circus. He's also been a regular contributor to the critically acclaimed zine/magazine Rad Dad. He currently lives with his wife and son.

Julia Eff hails from the Motor City and has been making zines for over 10 years, specializing in the queer, crass, spooky, and horribly emotional. They don't have a consistent running title but their book, Every Thug Is A Lady, came out last year on Pioneers Press. Julia enjoys coffee, tea, and Alkaline Trio. There is only an 84%...

January 5, 2016

I published eight zines in 2015: and it murders your heart (they didn't tell you that part)Belmont & ClarkThis House is Not a Landmark (split with Jesse Ankle Grease), Treehouse b/w Insect SummerWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Punk (the titular essay from my upcoming book), Reckless Chants #22, Full Ghost Moon (a ghost story I made into a mini-zine for my patrons), and Major Arcana of the Punk Rock Tarot.


My writing career took off, and I mean Took Off. It has been picking back up for the past couple years, after years of dead-ends, but in 2015 it started to feel like my hard work was finally paying off. The biggest things were being named Poet Laureate of Racine, and being nominated for the Pushcart Prize (for the second year in a row!), and one other really big/great thing I can't announce just yet. Also: I started writing for Witchsong, had pieces appear in volume one of Crush Zine, issue two of SRVIV,...

November 11, 2015


A lot of big news here at Reckless Chants HQ - the biggest news being that I've recently been crowned 2015-17 Poet Laureate of Racine, Wisconsin! I have big plans for the next two years, so stay tuned.


Here's the current haps - 


I've had two more poems published in Rising Phoenix Review  - "All Through the Town (On a Bus in L.A.)" and "How to Build A Clock That Isn't a Bomb."


I'm working on a chapbook called The Girl With the Most Cake: poems about Courtney Love. You can read one of the poems here.


And this Saturday (November 14th) is Milwaukee Zine Fest. I'll be there selling my zines (including the brand-new Major Arcana of the Punk Rock Tarot), and also leading a perzine workshop. If you're going to be in the Milwaukee area, you should come on out!

August 2, 2015

And here we are, 21 years later. This cut & paste collage of a life, this punk rock anthem screamed at the wind, this spilling my thoughts onto Xeroxed pages, is all I’ve ever known. -from "all that's left/all I've ever known" (as appears in Reckless Chants #22: "Remember Who You Are")


Reckless Chants #22 is now available! You can order it via Storenvy, or find more info here.

July 16, 2015

Reckless Chants #22: “Remember Who You Are” (available for preorder via Storenvy - $5 + shipping)


Approximately 80 pages (subject to change slightly once the layout is completed) of stories from my life circa the ‘90s. Stories about how I got into zines, my dysfunctional family, shitty dudes, heartbreak, depression and self-destruction, trying to be cool (and failing miserably), being a terrible riot grrrl, sexual misadventures, bike rides, adventure, stick & poke tattoos, and (some of) the albums and books that changed my life; plus collages, choice excerpts from my teenage journal, and scans of pages from the zines I did in the '90s. And more!


RC 22 is half-legal size, and the covers are an homage to '90s grrrl zines - collage and rubber stamps on pink paper, adorned with glitter and leopard print Duck Tape.


You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hurl.


PREORDER INFO: Everyone who preorders gets a free download code for a compilation of songs I wrote and recorded in the late '90s/early...

June 17, 2015

Photo: Watcher's Woods @ Filth Fest III, June 13th 2015


Black Sunday Magazine chatted with me about zines!

I reviewed Filth Fest III for the Shepherd Express!

The first installment of my piece about Kenosha punk and indie music is up at Witchsong!


AND - You can listen to and download some songs I recorded in the late '90s and early '00s!

I made a .pdf version of excerpts from Reckless Chants #20!

I made a .pdf version of Belmont & Clark!

Please reload

subscribe to my tinyletter
write to:
PO Box 85278, Racine, WI, 53408
  • Tumblr - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
Please reload

© Copyright 2014-2020 by Jessie Lynn McMains