What do you say?
When it comes to chapbooks, the definition seems as variable as the poetry they contain. Here’s what Brian A. Klems at Writer’s Digest has to say about chapbooks. (The term chapbook apparently comes from chap(man) book, because such publications were once peddled by an itinerant tradesman known as a chapman, with word origins related to cheap.)
However you describe them, chapbooks offer a window into a poet’s most recent, and sometimes most experimental, work. The challenge, unless you live in a city large enough to support a bookstore that stocks a wide selection of poetry chapbooks, such as City Lights in San Francisco or Open Books in Seattle, is to see chapbooks outside the context of poetry readings.
Melissa Eleftherion Carr, a Mendocino County (CA) librarian, and Elise Ficarra, associate director of the Poetry Center, San Francisco State University, are starting to…
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