I’ve used social media to share the wonderful news that Hermeneutic Chaos Press is publishing my chapbook, Tuesday’s Children this December (pre-orders beginning November 23).
My editor came up with the awesome idea of commissioning two different covers for the book, and you can see both of them here. Meanwhile I’ve been working with a variety of different visual artists on postcards for several poems in the chapbook.
As I’ve shared this news, lots of folks are wondering “so…what is a chapbook?” It’s a great question. I had no idea what a chapbook was until I started reading and ordering them over the last few years.
A chapbook usually a small collection of poems by an individual author. The books themselves are meant to be lovely but fleeting objects.
They’re often little! If you didn’t know you were looking at it, you might think it was a booklet or a pamphlet.
Often chapbooks are handmade by small presses who love book-making and treat it as an art. They can be bound in all kinds of ways—saddle stitches, post-binding, staples or even perfect-binding like a full-length collection.
Unlike most full-length collections, though, chapbooks usually have a theme or unifying idea behind them.
Typically, poets, flash-fiction writers, and even novella-writers submit to chapbook reading periods and contests from a variety of small presses. And small presses support chapbooks as a less expensive way of promoting authors they enjoy and admire.
If you want to see other chapbooks out there in the world, take a look at these options by some of my favorite contemporary poets:
- Beautifully Whole by Julie Brooks Barbour (also from Hermeneutic Chaos Press)
- We Build Houses of our Bodies by Donna Vorreyer
- Object Permanence by Elizabeth Vignali
- Home Brew by Luci Brown
And a few chapbooks on the weirder side that I adore:
- Badass by Les Kay
- Clothes Horse by Jenny MacBain-Stephens
- Creature Feature by Ruth Foley
Also, my poet-friend E. Kristin Anderson answers the “What is a Chapbook” question way better than I do so if you want more details and history, take a look.