We are a monthly online literary journal focused on the critical examination of the venerable chapbook: slim, soft-cover books, usually inexpensively produced and independently published.
While there are countless journals and Artists Literary Groups focused on fiction and poetry there are none that focus specifically on this renegade art form. The Chapbook Review seeks to redress this critical gap through insightful reviews, provocative essays, and engaging interviews.
So what is a chapbook anyway?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Chapbook is a generic term to cover a particular genre of pocket-sized booklet, popular from the sixteenth through to the later part of the nineteenth century. No exact definition can be applied. Chapbook can mean anything that would have formed part of the stock of chapmen, a variety of peddler. The word chapman probably comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for barter, buy and sell.
The term chapbook was formalized by bibliophiles of the nineteenth century, as a variety of ephemera (disposable printed material.) It includes many kinds of printed material, such as pamphlets, political and religious tracts, nursery rhymes, poetry, folk tales, children’s literature and almanacs. Where there were illustrations, they would be popular prints.
Chapbook is also a term currently used to denote low-cost hard copy production, particularly of poetry. Poetry chapbooks tend to focus on a specific theme, story, or form to unify the entire book.
The genre has been revitalized in the past 20 years by the widespread availability of low-cost copy centers and the cultural revolutions spurred by both zines and poetry slams, the latter generating hundreds upon hundreds of self-published chapbooks that are used to fund tours.
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