The Chapbook: Or the Perfect Medium for Poetry Books

Sunset in New Orleans, May 2010

After several poetry workshops and many assigned readings, I have determined that the chapbook is the perfect way to publish a collection of poetry. What is a chapbook? Typically, it is a short, published book of under 48 or so pages. They are usually not “perfect” bound like the paperbacks in bookstores. Instead, they are often stapled or even bound by hand. They can anything from a simple pamphlet to a beautifully crafted work of art.

Why do I think they are perfect for poetry? Because they are shorter collections then a full length book of poetry, the chapbook collection is just the right size for a reader. Reading 15-20 poems is much more pleasant and digestible compared to sitting down to read 100 pages of poems. Also, I believe that often they can be stronger then a full length collection, as the include the very best of a poets work. There are no “filler” poems in these small collections. Many publishers have chapbook contests to publish the works of first-time authors, so they are a great way to get your first publication.They are easier to produce for small presses that do not have the budget for large books. In addition, chapbook publishers take great pride in creating works of art in their chapbooks, often hand producing them.

Therefore, I am going to feature a chapbook or chapbook publisher review once a week here on my blog. If you are a publisher or writer with a chapbook you wish to be reviewed, please contact me.

Remember, even if your boyfriend stole your last black and mild, it’s Friday!


One thought on “The Chapbook: Or the Perfect Medium for Poetry Books

  1. That’s a pretty smart move–I’m not sure if anyone under the age of 67 has the attention span for a full, ANTHOLOGY-SIZED! book of poetry. Getting through a collection should be an act of pleasure, not a drag.

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