Sunday, March 28, 2010

chapbooks 42

Chapbooks 42

I have been fortunate enough to meet Tony Mancus, one of the founders of Flying Guillotine Press who has relocated to Northern VA. As a connoisseur of the chapbook form, I recognized right away the uniqueness of each of their chapbooks and the uniqueness of their concept (among other things, they only make 74 copies of any of their books) Read more about this press Here. A sampling of their work:

The Saint’s Notebook
Kate Schapira
Flying Guillotine Press
© 2009

The smallest of the 3 chapbooks, sown design on burlap material. 4 ½ x 5 ¾ “. Unnumbered pages. The poetry is good. The choice of cover material does make this item one that need to be unhandled – or one that will quickly disintegrate. Either way, it’s very cool.

Michael Robins
Flying Guillotine Press

5 ¾ x 5 ¾ “. Cover paper cover with photo of flower on front cover. Photo is held on by photo corners, very old school. Poetry is good.

All the Little Red Girls
Angela Veronica Wong
Flying Guillotine Press

Vellum covering over red cloth ribbon. Finger print in upper right corner of front cover. 8 ½ x 5 ½ “. The most standard sized chapbook of the batch.

Gathering Down Women
Michael Gushue
Pudding House Chapbook Series
Columbus, Ohio

The poetry here is fantastic. A great collection, bound by title and theme extremely well; a fine chapbook. As far as substance, yes. As far as style or originality of design; NO. This is not the doing of the author. Pudding House books look like, well, Pudding House books. Same paperstock. Same bewildering image selection. Same introductory note/disclaimer on back of title page. I have to say I am not a fan of Pudding House Press. At the same time, I am a fan of Michael Gushue’s work. Look past the appearance and feast on the words. They are wonderful words.

Book Collecting : A Primer
Thomas C. Hamm, editor
C. Dickens
Atlanta, Georgia
©1996 , 9th printing

At 75 pages, this chapbook straddles the line between forms, and formats. My own feeling is that this ought to be have been a book with a spine. While it’s beautifully made and went through several printings, its size is still more in the book world and less in the chapbook world. Great resource for those beginning book collectors.