Rising from the ashes: The Phoenix releases its newest literary zine after a two-year hiatus


Cover image for the Reignite zine

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After a two-year hiatus prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Townsend Harris’ literary magazine The Phoenix released their first zine a couple of weeks ago and are currently working towards producing their culminating end of the year magazine edition. This year’s zine is called Reignite, and features photography, poetry, creative writing, and art pieces from the Phoenix’s staff members. 

Senior and Phoenix Editor-In-Chief (EIC) Kate Romero (who is also a Classic editor) described the premise of the magazine, saying how it “features beautifully detailed artwork, eloquently written pieces, and aesthetic digital layouts. It also includes a spectacular poster in the back of the folded out zine, all curated on InDesign.”

To explain the selection of the theme, senior and Phoenix EIC Eliza Josephson said Reignite best captured the state of the club at the time of the zine’s release. “The pandemic put a damper on past year’s progress, and our leadership wanted to motivate students to begin a new era of creativity,” she said. “Though we did not make the product in the timeline we had hoped, I’m still very proud of the team for all of the hard work they put into this project.”

Kate added, “I’m very thankful to have patient and hardworking Co-EICs alongside me through this process. We really were each other’s support systems in this release.”

The zine is formatted such that it could be read as a booklet and then unfolded into a poster. For the best experience of viewing the magazine, Eliza said, “I would recommend people explore the zine however it feels natural to them and go from there.”

Kate, meanwhile, recommends that Harrisites start with the cover page. “Although it may seem trivial, I’d like to emphasize that the cover page took a lot of work and thought, as well as the rest of the pages of the zine. So coming from me, I’d like to appreciate every piece in order,” she said.

Junior Emily Lu said she believes that The Phoenix’s latest work is unique in THHS’s extracurricular environment. She said, “The collective creativity of the Reignite magazine by the Phoenix makes me want to read it and see how poems, stories and pictures from different sources are brought together in a magazine, where each volume seems to have a theme.”

Sophomore Iyad Elbouanani said she’s excited to explore the zine’s contents. “I’m most interested particularly about the poetry involved, as well as the pictures submitted by students,” she said. “I know some student photographers and would love to see their work.”

Freshman Fatima Hameed also expressed an interest in the Reignite zine and said, “Personally, all aspects except the poetry are interesting to me because I’m not a big fan [of poetry]. It’d be cool to see what kind of pictures the students submit and their interests incorporated into the magazine.”

Reflecting on the process of publishing the Phoenix’s literary magazine, “It’s very fulfilling to be a part of this release, truly,” Kate said. “Despite the many opportunities where we could have given up, we didn’t. I’m really glad we worked through it.”

Eliza added, “I feel like an enormous burden has been lifted off our shoulders. My goal for the year was to have a couple of tangible products so that the school community could celebrate the work our club members have been doing. We can’t wait to show you more of what we can do.”

Photos courtesy of Joanna Li