The Hermit Poet

July 31, 2006

The Chapbook Review — My Latest Project

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 1:05 am

No, I haven’t stopped running Boxcar Poetry Review — but I have decided to launch The Chapbook Review as a second journal which is purely concerned with the reviewing, marketing, and producing of chapbooks (ie. no poetry submissions, just information and reviews).

A number of years ago I realized that very few publications review chapbooks, although often this is where some of the most exciting innovation in poetry is happening. Some chapbooks are miniature works of art in their own right. One of my favorites is a wire-bound landscape chapbook by Nina Simon called Science Fair which is illustrated with ink drawings from an artist friend of hers. The artwork fits perfectly — subtle, but effective in it’s approach — sufficient to create a dialogue between text and image. The poems are impressive in their own right. The combination makes for a very attractive publication. And there are many others, each providing a unique take on how to best present poetry in this most democratic of distribution models.

With such variety in both presentation and content, it seemed to me that there was room for a pubilcation devoted to the chapbook.

So I’m putting a general call out for:

1. reviews of chapbooks
announcements of recent chapbook releases
3. advice for poets assembling or marketing their chapbooks

4. calls for submissions for chapbook contests
5. how to… articles

The Chapbook Review is a community spot — a place for poets of all styles and levels of experience to congregate and contribute. I’ll try to also provide the occasional technology or software article as another sort of service.

So check it out and send something in to us. Or just comment on the posts.

4 Responses to “The Chapbook Review — My Latest Project”

  1. Rob Says:

    I came across your site through a link in Headline Poetry.

    Your plan sounds like a good idea. I contribute now and again to a Scottish-based chapbook review and information magazine called Sphinx, run through UK poet Helena Nelson’s HappenStance Press ( It publishes some reviews in print and some on the web.

    I think there is a market for this kind of zine – how big I’m not sure. But it’s worth having a shot at. I’ve certainly discovered some interesting new poets though reading reviews in Sphinx, which also runs articles on chapbook presses and interviews with poets/editors etc.

    Best of luck!

  2. Rob Says:

    You know, after writing my reply above, I realised you’ve actually just started your new zine. It looks good aesthetically, but I’ll have to come back tomorrow to check it out again – it’s late here. Cheers.

  3. bjr Says:

    good website, neil. looks like you are doing much good work.

  4. Rob Says:

    Sorry to take up yet more space in your comments box. But I wanted to say that, having now read the initial articles and review in the new zine, I think it’s good stuff. Bookmarked.

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