Santa Fe Zine Fest

Bucket Siler, the founder and organizer of Zine Fest in Santa Fe. Photo by Lexi Malone

When Bucket Siler started making zines (DIY publications) 10 years ago, the medium was on its way out of popular interest. With the growth of the internet and a decline in DIY publications, Siler felt like she was the only zine maker in Santa Fe. “I had been doing this thing but it felt like no one gave a shit,” she says. It wasn’t until Siler stumbled onto a Strangers Collective show several years later that she saw more zinesters present in Santa Fe, something she hadn’t experienced since the boom of zine making in the 80s and 90s. “There were suddenly people out there doing this weird thing that I was doing!” she says. Siler says that she’s seen a resurgence of zines in the last two or three years, which explains the popularity of her upcoming event Santa Fe Zine Fest, a new festival for zine enthusiasts to buy, sell and trade May 20 at the Center for Contemporary Arts. While Albuquerque Zine Fest has been New Mexico’s prime zine gathering for many years, SFZF is the first in Santa Fe.

“It started as a sort of selfish thing,” Siler says. She decided to organize the zine fest because she wanted a place in Santa Fe to not only display her own zines but to meet other people who loved the medium. With the event only a little over a week away, she is excited so many people are signed up to sell and trade their zines such as the Denver Zine Library, Kelly Short and Queer, Charlotte Sherman, and more.

Samantha Funk reads through the collection box of zines at the Zine Club. Photo by Lexi Malone

Bret Kitchel who runs the Santa Fe Zine Club and used to work for the Denver Zine Library, will also be a vendor at SFZF. Kitchel has been making zines since he was in high school. “I was fascinated by the idea that anyone could make [zines] and share knowledge,” he says. The club of “zinesters” meets monthly to work on zines together and trade. While the group size and location varies, Kitchel says that SFZF has been a big push for productivity.

At the time of publication, Siler is hard at work bringing all the last components together to make the event a success. “It’s kind of felt like a Field of Dreams moment. ‘If you build it they will come,’” she says with a laugh. Santa Fe Zine Fest will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 20 at the Living Room at the Center for Contemporary Arts. Those interested are encouraged to bring cash and their own zines to trade with vendors. More information can be found on the Santa Fe Zine Fest Facebook page or by emailing