There is something about a chapbook or pamphlet. Something concise and satisfying. Something in the thrill of discovering something new whether that is the first foray into print of a new voice or finding an artist exploring something that would not necessarily fit into a full collection or book. Pictured above is a random selection from our bookshelves. It includes Climates by Ruth Fainlight from Bloodaxe in 1983 highlighting that the simple chapbook has played a role in helping notable publishers find their way as much as helping poets cut their teeth and experiment. Chapbook publishers like Knives Forks and Spoons use the format to showcase experimental and visual poetry and there is a particularly rich and vibrant scene here in the UK with publishers such as Happenstance, Nine Arches, The Tall Lighthouse and Oystercatcher to name but a few. At prices that are often south of a fiver you can’t go wrong. Whether you call them chapbooks or pamphlets they remain a vital literary ingredient and as those clever chaps at Silkworms Ink are showing one that is adaptable to the digital age, and therefore one that will be with for a very long time yet!
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