Thursday, August 14, 2008

chapbooks like messages in a bottle

Since beginning this blog on the topic of chapbooks I have noticed, among many things, that one thing that keeps popping up in my head while writing is how I am helping to keep the memory of the author and in some cases the publisher alive by merely mentioning them. Chapbooks are often a stepping-stone in one's career as a writer or artist and that's extraordinary then to held a piece of that history. But they are also the history of the moment - whichever moment that might be.

I have had the pleasure of hearing from a number of poets whose work I have written about, often to thank me for doing so. (no one has told me to stop, which is a good thing)

The reasons for creating a chapbook differ widely but there is one thing that is the same with all of them: the need to get the work "out there". Chapbooks then are like bottles tossed into the oceans, filled with the thoughts and musing of the author, and with any luck are found by someone who likes what the poet/writer/artist has done.

And I have had the good fortune to write about them. Of course not all bottles are found. Some sink or are destroyed by storm, which is the risk each of us takes in making something that is distributed beyond our own hands. Some ought to have never been made, and I will continue to call those as I find them; write about them, state SAVE A TREE when necessary, and promptly recycle them for the pulp they are only worth.

Reviewers tend to write well of everything so that they attempt to stay on everyone's good side, but sometimes it's the job of the reviewer/critic to tell the emperor he is indeed naked.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned, more to come.

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