Each chapbook is a story in itself - the publisher, the poet/author, the designer/illustrator - each has a story and a history. Along the way, I have found many tales and yarns. Some fascinating and others truly pitiful. Part of the reason I write this admittedly infrequent blog is that these authors - these publishers - these people need to be remembered in some fashion. Their chapbooks alone acknowledge their existence as people. Their names live on, however delicately, through their "thin slivers of nothing" (the weight of a chapbook when stacked on a shelf with various TOMES between)
It takes people like me to find and collect them. It takes others to create them and others to bring them to a weary public, forever put upon to be amazed at the new next wave of material splashing against the shoreline of their attention span. The shoreline is always in recession.
It's not so much a matter of locating a priceless gem of a chapbook but simply to find one whose author and publisher and illustrators have disappeared from our consciousness. And to bring them back to life - just by mentioning the details .... the very EXISTENCE .... of the chapbook again.
I have up until now, presented the details as clinically as possible, when merited I have gone into a bit of detail more but not much. My purpose has to been to acknowledge the chapbooks themselves. Sometimes it was been to bemoan the making of a dreadful creation, sometimes trees should not have fallen for a book's making. But for the most part, I have been incredibly surprised by the backstory of some presses and some authors.
Even the recent finds of chapbooks by a Pegasus Buchanan proved worthwhile although I would never had purchased them for their literary merit (don't like that style of poetry, I am afraid) but for their production quality and thoughtful creation. Someone was thinking about the presentation of the work - I admire that.
Instead of writing about groups of 4 or 5 chapbooks at a time, I am going to see if I can write more about a single chapbook at a time and see how that goes. I do have a small and committed audience (thank you) and I won't try and bore anyone.
Look for something different tomorrow!