Chap*Books is a space dedicated to the under-appreciated art form of the chapbook which has been of significant importance in the launching of many fine authors.
This excellent blog reviews and promotes the chapbooks and small collections published by small presses that the contributors have purchased, found or been given along the way. A few of the many featured are pictured above and below.
Recently, the good people at Chap*Books wrote a piece about Spring Wanderings by J. H. Martin and we would like to say thank you, not just for the kind words about the book, but for the solidarity shown by Chap*Books in promoting and supporting the work of lesser known writers and small press publications not only on their blog but also by posting reviews on Amazon and other on-line retail outlets.
“I found this book in an antique shop in rural PA about a month ago. It’s a beautifully made book that by my calculations ought to be a “chapbook” but isn’t. …
The poetry itself is beautiful and mysterious. It reflects the country that the work is about (China).” Read more
“Each chapbook is a story in itself – the publisher, the poet/author, the designer/illustrator – each has a story and a history. Along the way, I have found many tales and yarns. Some fascinating and others truly pitiful. Part of the reason I write this admittedly infrequent blog is that these authors – these publishers – these people need to be remembered in some fashion. Their chapbooks alone acknowledge their existence as people. Their names live on, however delicately, through their “thin slivers of nothing” (the weight of a chapbook when stacked on a shelf with various TOMES between)” Read more
An informative article on the chapbook appeared in Jacket Magazine a few years back: Considering Chapbooks: A Brief History of the Little Book
“Distanced from its historical roots, the form of the chapbook found new life in the burgeoning world of modern poetry, in which pamphlets from the international Dada movement and beautifully designed works of Russian avant-garde poets set a new standard. Continuing through Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems, the mimeo revolution of the 60s, the advent of photocopying and desktop publishing, and the production of PDF files containing the online equivalent, the chapbook now thrives in the esoteric though open space of contemporary poetry. … Whether comprised of an extended sequence, a series of short poems, or a single, longer work, the chapbook, in its momentary focusing and sculpting of the reader’s attention, is the perfect vehicle for poetry.”
Read the rest of this excellent article at Jacket Magazine
We strongly encourage those interested in literature, poetry and the arts to support their local poets and independent bookshops by picking up one of these collectable pieces of ephemera from time to time. In the words of one memorable review, chapbooks are “well worth a look, and at less than the price of a pint, what have you got to lose?”