Upcoming Events



Pulp to Paper, Print to Book
June 7 & 21, 3pm – 6pm, with Nicole Donnelly

Pop Up Library at Coffee Market
June 14, 5pm – 7pm

Poet-Makers Read Their Work: Brian Teare, JenMarie Macdonald, and Isabel Lederman
June 20, 8pm, at 2120 E. Hazzard St.

Blogging as Social Action
July 19, 3pm – 6pm, with Charlene Kwon

Language as Material
August 2, 3pm – 6pm, with JenMarie MacDonald



Pulp to Paper, Print to Book
June 7 & 21, 3pm – 6pm, with Nicole Donnelly

Learn how to make paper by hand! Participants will learn the basics of hand papermaking and sheet-forming, starting out with a basic cotton-abaca paper pulp. We will form a number of text weight sheets that will act as the body of our (future) blank book, as well as several cover weight sheets that we will print on and embed objects (string, ribbon, flat collageables) into.

Then using the handmade papers from Part 1 of the workshop, participants will create a simple, printed notebook/sketchbook structure. Using the signmaker letterpress, we will print unique decorative cover pages, and then insert and sew blank sheets of handmade paper into a simple book structure. Participants will leave with their very own (start-to-finish!) hand-made blank book to draw and write in. $50 includes both sessions and all materials. Email info@phillysoapbox.org to register.


Pop Up Library
June 14, 5-7pm

The Soapbox Zine Library hits the road in a casual pop-up library and zine reading event taking place at Coffee Market at 405 S. 45th St. – outside if the weather is nice! We will have part of our library of handmade publications available for your reading pleasure from 5-7pm on Sunday, June 14.


Poet-Makers Read Their Work – Brian Teare, JenMarie Macdonald, Isabel Lederman
June 20, 8pm, 2120 E. Hazzard St. in Fishtown

A poetry reading by book maker – poets — and a fundraiser for The Soapbox: Independent Publishing Center. Come and hear live readings by the fabulous Brian Teare, JenMarie Macdonald, and Isabel Lederman. A special mini-chapbook with handprinted covers will be released for this event, and works written, printed, and bound by the readers will be available. Potential for live music as well. Suggested donation $5-10 gets you a mini-chapbook and raises funds for the letterpress printing shop at The Soapbox. Note: while The Soapbox is a West Philadelphia based community print shop, zine library and arts space, this event will be held in Fishtown at 2120 E. Hazzard St., 2nd Fl., Philadelphia, 19125


Blogging as Social Action
July 19, 3pm – 6pm, with Charlene Kwon

This workshop takes concepts from text and image on print and moves them online to harness the power of the virtual network. Blogging finds its effectiveness in its ability to not only mediate between a public and private persona, it also allows us to reach larger communities of like-minded people. In this workshop, we will work with three different blogging genres that will hitch your ideas to these communities.

Prerequisites: You will need to have a blog already in place before attending this workshop. If you have no idea how to do this, then please contact charlene.kwon@gmail.com for directions for setting up a blogging account. $25 ($20 for members). Please email info@phillysoapbox.org to register.


Language as Material
August 2, 3pm – 6pm, with JenMarie MacDonald

Explore a hybrid space by integrating writing and visual art. Discover how to unearth the blueprint of physical forms in your writing and utilize the power of language as a material. Learn word experiments, language generation exercises, and creative writing prompts to add texture and depth to your visual projects while uniting form and content. This workshop is a great resource for visual artists wanting to include text as a medium in their work or for writers curious to create physical forms that perform their writing. Create new work or get fresh insight on existing work. Everyone from seasoned professionals wanting to add a new dimension to their practice to beginners just building their toolboxes welcome.


The Soapbox is looking to expand its space and programs, and we deeply value your input as we shape these plans. We invite you to take a survey about our offerings for a chance to win a free workshop registration. Click here to participate.


Open Hours

June 7 & 21, July 5 & 19, 3-6pm

Browse our library holdings or tour the Studio and see what members are working on.  Also check our blog’s Featured Zine section to get a preview of some items in our collection, as selected by library volunteers. We welcome visitors during Open Hours to tour the studios, ask us questions, and bring us your ideas. Come on over.







April 24-25, 830 Filbert Street

Come by our table at this weekend’s Art Book Fair, hosted by the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and the Print Center. We’ll be there 11-7 on Friday and 10-6 on Saturday with a selection of member work as well as our Spring/Summer calendar and shiny new Soapbox postcards — alongside book and zine makers from around Philadelphia and from afar. Missed Eat Your Words? We’ll have the Eat Your Words zine for sale.

May 3 &/or 17,  3-6 pm, with Kerri Radley

Join us for a quiet, thoughtful afternoon writing group at the Soapbox, facilitated by Kerri Radley, author of the zine Deafula. This “workshop” will be an easy-going, laid back environment, where we chat about how our writing is going and receive support and encouragement. Free and open to the public.

Writing is often times a solitary activity, despite that ultimately it is a social act. When you’re writing alone, do you ever find yourself wondering if what you’re writing will actually make sense to someone else? Wishing that you could ask someone which organization works better for a piece? Ask someone for help coming up with a better way of putting something? Join us for a writers’ afternoon where you get to do just that. Bring a piece of writing that you’re currently working on, struggling with, or have been thinking about starting. We’ll first talk about radical and egalitarian approaches to “workshopping” your writing, and then pair off to engage in relaxed conversations about our writing. With so many great zine, creative, and nonfiction writers in Philadelphia, let’s lean on each other for support and make the act of writing a little less isolating.

Zine Cataloging Party!

Rachel Korman recently took on the role of Zine Librarian at the Soapbox and is looking for some folks to help catalog our zine collection, as many of our materials, including newly acquired donations, have not been processed. She’s throwing a cataloging party at The Soapbox on Sunday, May 4 to get a good chunk of the work done with friends and fun!


What: Soapbox zine cataloging party! (aka read zines all afternoon)

When: Sunday May 4th, anytime between 3-6pm

Where: The Soapbox, 741 S. 51st St., Philadelphia, PA

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a laptop, please bring it! You’ll need it to catalog! Also, light snacks will be provided.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us! We hope to see you there!

Deafula #7 Release & Reading

Friday, April 25, 7-9pm

Join us at the Soapbox for the release reading of Deafula #7!
Kerri Radley, a deaf Philly zinester, was awarded the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant, and as a part of her project, she created the newest issue of her zine, with handprinted covers created at the Soapbox. Deafula explores deaf identity, discrimination, and ableism, as well as queries the very label of disability itself. Kerri will read from her newest issue, which aims to raise awareness of inaccessibility at community events and explores how we can make these events more inclusive.
Kerri will be joined by JC, a DC-based zinester who writes the perzine Tributaries and edits the comp zine Collide, which focuses on the intersection between physical disability and mental illness. JC writes about her experiences growing up with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Please join us for readings and discussion on a truly important subject: how can we better our approach to accessibility in Philadelphia’s arts, zine, and radical spaces / communities.

Secret Bully #2 Release Reading

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7PM at The Soapbox
Wine and snacks will be served!
Secret Bully is a personal, creative nonfiction zine written by Cynthia Ann Schemmer. In #2, she writes about using nature and animals to help figure things out in this wild thing called life. The three pieces in this issue address different relationships that have dissipated, and how nature helped her realize the things she did and did not deserve.
Reader bios:
Cynthia Ann Schemmer is a writer, musician, and true bull taurus living in West Philadelphia. You can check out the things she does over at her website.
Katie Haegele is a freelance writer and longtime zine maker. She most enjoys writing about about language, feminism, clothing, and books.

Sarah Sawyers-Lovett was born in Tazewell, Virginia. She isn’t offended if you haven’t heard of it. Everybody Else’s Girl is Sarah’s first long-form memoir. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife and their hedgehog, where she makes balloon animals for money. Sarah enjoys pickles, punks and coffee. She writes zines and blogs and you can find more of her work at punkjoanofarc.com .
Laura Reeve lives in West Philadelphia with five humans, three cats, and one dog. She is also writes weird short stories. In January, she wrote one story every day. You can read them online or in the zine she just put out, “An Introduction to Eating Your Heart Out: 31 stories in 31 days.”
Hope you can join us!

April Zine Releases & Bind-a-thon

Many of our members are gearing up to table at Brooklyn Zine Fest, which takes place April 26 & 27. To help support this spring flurry of activity, The Soapbox will be hosting the following events:

Sunday, April 20, 3-6pm: Bind-a-thon:
Break out the needles and the stapler! Have a project that needs putting together? Come and assemble in the company of others — whether it is an old project you never finished putting together or hot off the presses. Enjoy a cup of tea while taking advantage of The Soapbox’s stack cutter, binding tools, book press, and staplers. Get your zine assembled the painless way — with friendship and technical support!

Wednesday, April 23, 7-9pm:
Secret Bully #2 Zine Release & Reading: Secret Bully is a personal, creative nonfiction zine written by Cynthia Ann Schemmer. In #2, she writes about using nature and animals to help figure things out in this wild thing called life. The three pieces in this issue address different relationships that have dissipated, and how nature helped her realize the things she did and did not deserve. The reading line-up will also include member Katie Haegele, Sarah Sawyers-Lovett, and Laura Reeve.

Friday, April 25, 7-9pm: Deafula #7 Zine Release & Reading:
Kerri shares the latest issue of deafula, hot off the presses with covers hand printed at The Soapbox, with support from the Leeway Foundation’s Art & Change Grant. We’re proud to be the Community Change Partner for this project.

Exhibit: In Every Landscape We See

Soapbox member Anna Mueser shares recent work in cut paper and screenprinting in this new exhibit opening with a reception on Friday, March 21, from 7-9pm.

These delicate works addressing nature and sequence will be on view through April whenever The Soapbox is open. Come by to check them out! Prints will be available for purchase.

Join us for our Membership Drive Featuring the new Work Exchange Member option!

Expose your ideasJoin West Philly’s printmaking studio and independent publishing center Memberships $100 – $150-year Contact phillysoapbox@gmail.com www.phillysoapbox.org 2make it at the soapbox 2

The Soapbox seeks four Work Exchange Members to staff Open Studio sessions in exchange for membership. Soapbox Studio Members have access to our Signmaker Letterpress, Screenprinting Equipment, Etching Press, & Binding Tools during Open Hours, held four times per month.

We are looking for individuals who are experienced and comfortable in the studio areas we offer, to staff our Open Hours alongside an experienced Soapbox member for a regular monthly shift of 3+1/2 hours for a 6-month term.Work Exchange Members assist members in using and troubleshooting studio equipment, support the other Open Hours staffer in providing tours of the space, and contribute to the general improvement and maintenance of the space. As the grease that makes The Soapbox run, Work Exchange Members will have significant influence in our planning.

Applications are available and will be accepted and considered on a rolling basis until March 31. We’ll be holding an Open House on March 30 from 4-6pm for those interested in any level of membership. Work Exchange Memberships commence in May. For application information, click here. Contact us with questions at phillysoapbox@gmail.com.
I am Worth a Fortune Zine Reading

Come join us Thursday July 11th at 6:30pm for “I AM WORTH A FORTUNE” Zine tour featuring Chicago zinesters: Collin Brennan of Continental Interlude, Matt Whispers of Effigy, and Jim Joyce of Let It Sink.

They will be reading with Philly’s own Katie Haegele of The La-La Theory and kerri of Deafula!