The Chapbook Review

Kristy Bowen, from Dancing Girl Press, characterizes her reason for publishing chapbooks:

I’ve always seen an editor more as a collector.  I know a lot of people see them more as gatekeepers, culling the wheat from the chaff, but I think what I choose depends far more on my own tastes and whims than on any standard of what anyone else considers “good” poetry. What I tend to like or publish might not appeal to everyone all the time, but I always feel a bit more like someone collecting culture rather than passing judgment on  it.

Plenty of more people from a notable variety of presses talking about chapbooks over at the November issue of The Chapbook Review, as well as reviews of five chapbooks.

The Chapbook Review

advertWe’re chock full of writers, right, and there are more and more presses starting up every day. Hallelujah. Like check out North Punk Press and their new thing, the nicely titled story by Paula Bomer called “An Important Day in the Joyful Life of Marjorie Wallace.” It’s a teaser for a future chapbook, and it’s put together handsomely on blogger and as a downloadable PDF. The story concerns Marjorie, an administrative assistant who runs into an old friend and chastises her for not calling, and then ends up feeling kind of bad but kind of hopeful, or maybe she has sunstroke. Read it, get it.

But anyway, what I was saying is that there are plenty of writers and presses starting up all the time, a bunch of people and publishers I’ve never heard of even. I can’t keep track. 

So that’s why I’m really excited about The Chapbook Review, which as founder John Madera puts it, is “a monthly online literary journal focused on the critical examination of the venerable chapbook.” Just as the list of novellas Madera put together is massive (not to mention, holy geez, his gorgeous and flabbergasting review of Light Boxes), so shall be The Chapbook Review. The first issue features a conversation that Pig Babi Blake Butler had with academe Chris Higgs, and then that conversation in reverse. It’s got reviews by Sean Lovelace and Tobias Carroll and Kimberly King Parsons and tons of people about books by Matt Bell, Mike Heppner and Aaron Burch and so much more I’m not saying it right. There’s reviews of Willows Wept books and Sunnyoutside books. I mean, there’s like two reviews of the same book from The Cupboard for crying out loud. I’m as excited as a squirrel on fire about The Chapbook Review, for real, because to go along with the shit ton of writers and editors, now there is more inquiry to legitimate it, lightening the burden some for the precious few outlets (New Pages, Rain Taxi, The Quarterly Conversation) that are taking critical reviews of small press fare as a serious and sole objective.

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June 6th, 2009 / 2:19 pm