circumspectacles: a manifesto


noun, plural 1) the many varieties of absurdity and beauty all around us 2) a set of ‘lenses’ that lead to wonder and awe 3) the many senses of awe and smallness 4) the act of watching the constant tension and dialogue between nature and culture, place and space, people and their world 

I (Emily) have invited my long-time friend and fellow writer, Abigail Faries, to join me in re-building and re-making Circumspectacles. For us, it’s become a project that will, if all goes well, become a zine and magazine. 

Our goal is to combine honest reflection on journeys, the social sciences, sustainability, and the body with our passion for creative writing and research in order to build the kind of publication we wish we’d read when we were 16, 18, or 20 years old.

We want to produce a body of work that mirrors our commitment to democracy, sustainability, creativity, personal integrity, hard work, diversity, education, and exploration. Those are a lot of big, grandiose, and idealistic words, but they’ve driven so many of our life decisions as individuals and as friends. 

What does this look like?

For right now, it looks like us attempting to build a blog project that sets the tone for our future quarterly zine, which will be launched in February of 2020. We will publish a blog post every Thursday and occasionally on Mondays as well. We’ve re-built the blog to reflect the columns that will inhabit the future Circumspectacles zine. Our columns are:

  • sustainability
  • anthropology
  • creative writing
  • reviews
  • editorials
  • the body
  • journeys

This project may start with us, but it is not exclusive to us. We accept guest submissions and are eager to encounter others’ interpretations of Circumspectacles. Want to talk about spirituality? An adventure? Have art or photography that relates to any of these issues? Submit ideas at In the meantime, enjoy what’s to come. This is our own personal endeavour, messy and imperfect, and we’re excited to share it with you all. 

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