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Sara Marcus

May 18, 2011

Photo by Lyndsay Bloom

Sara Marcus has been writin’ ‘zines and punk rockin’ since she was a young riot grrrl.  And not much has changed.

Sure, she’s got a MFA from Columbia University and her prose have shown up in places like Salon, Slate, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Advocate, and Heeb, where she was the politics editor for five years. And yes, Sara has recorded with talents like Jeff Magnum, Mirah, and Oakley Hall, as well was playing drums and keyboards in loads of bands. Heck, she’s even the co-founder of New Herring Press, a collectively run micropress focusing on prose chapbooks.

But Sara’s most recent accolades come from her book Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution published in October 2010.  Sara has chronicled a feminist movement steeped in unverified mystery and has lovingly revealed voices of young riot grrrls faded. Her story of a fleeting feminist movement rooted in music and fostered by women in the spirit of DIY is a finalist for the Marfield Prize in arts writing.

Sara Marcus is making sure that the origins of riot grrrl aren’t lost and we, here at 12 Questions, couldn’t be happier!

Revolution girl-style now!

1. What is your hometown?

When I moved to New York at the age of 24, I suddenly understood why I had felt out of place everywhere else I’d ever lived: It was because I had been out of place everywhere else.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Sara Crewe in A Little Princess.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Charlie Chaplin.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

The musical saw.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

“Shock Treatment” by Karen Finley. “Melanie Klein” by Julia Kristeva. “A Year from Monday” by John Cage. “The Long Goodbye” by Meghan O’Rourke.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Grass Widow, Past Time. A lot of Anne Briggs. A song I just wrote to sing in a project by the artist Mary Walling Blackburn.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

The subway, on a weekly basis.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

My cat is a dog, and I am a human being.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?


10.    How do you define sin?

An unhelpful rubric.

11.    How do you define virtue?

A greased pole.

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

An enormous vase of pussywillows.

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Amelia Randall Meath of the band Mountain Man



Sara Marcus

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