Friday, November 16, 2007

Chapbooks 20

The Kimnama
Kim Roberts
Vrzhu Press
Washington, DC

The Kimnama is the among the first two chapbooks published by this new publisher, Vrzhu Press. The other book is More Than Anything by Hiram Larew. Kim Roberts is a hyper-involved individual in the Washington DC poetry community where she edits the Beltway Magazine. The Kimnama was written during Kim’s travels in India a few years ago, and appropriately enough means ‘the history of Kim’.

I found the writing crisp and approachable. While I am not a big fan of POD (print-on-demand) books, this one is well made and very professional looking. It’s a great book and well worth finding – best way through the Press’s website – Vzrhu Press.

The Good-Neighbor Policy
Charles Ardai
A Midsummer Night’s Press
New York City

This is an the first offering from a new Press. It is 6 X 4 1/4” mini book, well made (in Spain) 28 pages long. If you are familiar with the author’s work, then I recommend you add it to your library.

Three Poems for Charles Boyer
Joyce Odam
Banshee Press
Philadelphia, PA

This “chapbook” is actually a 3 poem, as the title suggests, a form of a pamphlet. It’s a well made pamphlet. Perhaps it was offered as a thank you gift or something. There is no price on the cover.

Lisa Alexander Baron
Encircle Publications
Sagamore Beach, MA

This is a 33 page chapbook, with a clip-art butterfly on the front cover. Although well made, it is not a collection that I can read more than once. HOWEVER, that is merely my own matter of taste. I can see this collection being read by others, and as an early work in the writing career of Ms. Baron, it is worth having.

Staring at the Welder’s Flame
Marlene Dembinsky Rowe
Self published

Staring at the Welder’s Flame is the first collection of work by Marlene Rowe and it is self published. As such, the only editor is the poet, and often the poet doesn’t know when to stop. This 83 page collection is more a book than a chapbook. The staple-binding looks a bit strained. Much of the work inside is in fact quite good, but again….too much can sometimes be simply too much.

However, the book is also very handsome with illustrations by Martin Heffron. I got my copy from the poet when it was fresh off the presses, and a few years before starting Plan B Press. Ms. Rowe has been very involved in the poetry activity of the coal regions of Pennsylvania where she help to found the Stray Dog poets. I respect what she has accomplished and applaud her book. Looking forward to a follow-up in the near future.