Zinn was born as Emily Wozniak in St. Louis, MO in the early eighties. She likes to say she was raised in a Jesus Camp, but that is because she is a smart-ass. She was really raised in a lower-middle-class suburb where she attended plenty of church, summer camps and public school. She was a patriotic, rule following, softball playing, confused straight girl. Luckily, she read a TON. When her fourth grade teacher asked her want she wanted to do when she grew up, she said she wanted to save lives. You want to be a doctor, her teacher asked her. To which Zinn replied: NO, I want to be a writer.
Halfway through her twenties she enrolled in college, so she could finally follow her childhood longing to be a writer. But she accidentally walked into a Women's Studies classroom and got distracted, by ethics and society in the Philosophy department and gender and sexuality in Sociology, and earned B.A.s in both. Quickly. With straight As. And a new queer partner. And the bi-racial baby they had together. And she wasn’t about to stop there. She was on a desperate search to find the perfect PhD program, but, unsatisfied with the lack of options for her interests, ended up finding her way back home. To books. Narratives. Stories of counter-culture. Reinvention. Stories of selves and bodies. Female bodies who aren't looking for healing or redemption. Meaning making.
She packed her bags full of epistemology, semiotics, french feminist psychoanalytic theory, atheism, and her happy little queer family and moved to literary Portland, OR where she hunted for her people. And the smartest, fiercest, full of body rhythm badass intellectual artist that gets all that AND teaches--Lidia Yuknavitch. Zinn applied for a MFA program with the sole purpose of taking classes with Yuknavitch, and then promptly left academia in accepting Lidia’s invitation to co-collaborate at Corporeal Writing. Her title is Creative Engineer, a title she and Yuknavitch invented because they do things like that. Like disrupt the order of things. Like get between dualisms and work to make sense of things that sound like contradictions. Like make up new titles. There, Zinn has worked hard to learn Yuknavitch’s corporeal teaching methods, and now gets to collaborate with writers in the workshop space, as well as with Yuknavitch in designing new workshops. Her dream is to build an alternative arts program that dislocates "high theory," ideas, and the creation of knowledge from privileged university settings and makes it available to everyone. Zinn also puts her years of restaurant work and event planning to use in organizing and planning Corporeal Writing's events and workshops, a service she loves consulting on for other people.
But more importantly, from her work at Corporeal Writing, she is learning about her body's rhythms and how to put them on the pages. So you can feel it too. So the littlegirlbodies in the midwest can have their life saved by reading. Most importantly, she is letting herself become. An artist. A lover. A new kind of mother. Become whoever the heck she wants to be. And then become again. And again. Again_____Zinnia Love Adeline.
You can expect her first book soon-ish.