Monday, June 04, 2007


Chapbooks 16

Back from the Park
Denee Dubeau Zah
Green Zone
New York, New York
© 2006

Zah’s chapbook opens with the poem, Ming, which has the opening line “This book is so well-made I can’t bear to write in it”. Whether irony or hyperbole, that’s about the highest praise this book can give. Self praise. The poems are not breathtaking and the stapled 8 1/2” x 11” size makes for an awkward storage issue. If in fact this chapbook was meant to be saved; or stored. The cover is from a beautiful painting by ‘J. Brooke’, uncredited. It’s got to be an early Green Zone chapbook – a learning as one goes book – since the quality of presentation simply is not visual here. Later chapbooks by the same mystery publisher are extremely well done. This one was not. I fear that the tree was wasted in this effort – SAVE A TREE!!!!

Emergency #3
New Orleans, LA
© 2000

A 48 page rant by Ammi, whose Emergency #3 I got first-hand when a swarm of New Orleans writers and poets descended on the city of Brotherly Land back in 2002. It was a most curious evening and a series of curious chapbooks on display. I scooped up one of everything and have been picking through them in this blog. I do so as much to bond with the city that that mob of writers came from as for the merit of their work. As is the case here, It’s a bit of whiny post Gen-X angst. SAVE A TREE!!!!!!!!

The Portuguese Letters
Steve Dalachinsky
Sisyphus Press Chapbook series
© 2000

Steve Dalachinsky has been published by several small presses. This effort is one of the better ones. Green cover with cover art by Yuko Otomo. Contains 5 letters (poems). For those familiar with his work from his Free Jazz collaborations, it’s worth collecting his written work as well.

Yukon Poems of Robert W. Service
Sourdough Edition
Filter Press
Palmer Lake, Colorado
© 1967

For those who love to read the poems of Robert Service, or of any of a list of 47 other writers in this series by Filter Press, this book is quite a find. Fully illustrated with period piece images, it sings of the time. Definitely worth it for those in the know. (not my cup of brandy though)

Dances in Dialogue
Sharon Rees Eiferman
Zenobia Press
Bryn Mawr, PA
© 1991

This is a 30-page chapbook with cover image of unknown married couple, parents or grandparents of the author. There are some poems in this collection that are very good and it would have been interesting to see what might have happened had the author concentrated on only poems about writing, the muse, and poetry itself. Yet this is not a tight and focused grouping of poems and the various strands unwound for me upon reading.

Ms. Eiferman has been a fixture on the campus of Philadelphia Community College and has conducted workshops across the region for many years. I am unaware of any additional books of hers, nor of the press itself.

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