the chapbook interview: Sarah Ann Winn on “the ephemeral things I hold dear”

You are the author of the chapbook Portage (Sundress Publications, 2014). What did you learn during your MFA studies about the chapbook?

As excellent as GMU’s program was, I didn’t learn very much about the chapbook in my classes there. Most of what I learned was in conversations with my friends who were submitting/assembling chapbooks. Occasionally someone would mention them in a class (usually a student), or I would see them as final products in displays for courses I hadn’t taken but wish I had been able to (like Susan Tichy’s poem-as-object class, Book Beasts), but overall, I was not required to read any, and there was no formal learning outcome which related to them specifically. I learned by going to panels and in the book room at AWP as well. They can be such tactile objects that being able to see them in person/hold them in my hands was an essential part of my learning experience.


Your chapbook Portage isn’t a tactile object in the sense that it’s an echapbook. What are the benefits of publishing echapbooks?

One of the benefits of publishing an e-chap is the wide audience. For a small publisher like Sundress, it keeps costs down, and distribution easy. At AWP, I was able to hand people my card, and more than one person said that they planned to have their class download it as an additional text, since it was free. What a great way for a poet at the beginning of their career to develop readership!


What chapbooks and chapbook presses do you admire for the tactile objects they create and why?

There are many presses that are doing a great job capitalizing on the physical capabilities of chapbooks. One thing that they have in common is their attention to detail/use of the form to enhance the already beautiful work. Something that’s been interesting to watch is the more and more frequent inclusion of hybrid works in chapbook lineups. This seems like a match made in heaven, where both are the manticores of the literary world.

In no particular order, here are a few I love:

Yellow Flag – Block print painted covers on some (like Erica McCreedy’s Red Winter), unique size on others (like Lauren Gordon’s Generalizations About Spines), this press clearly takes into consideration the style of the poet.

Porkbelly – These handmade beauties with full color covers are sold on Etsy. All of their titles are head turners. I admired them before they picked up my micro chap, Haunting the Last House on Holland Island (due out next year).


Miel Books – Their catalog would be dreamy in full size features as well – but in minis!? I felt like swooning at their table. Slip covers, illustrations throughout, diagrams, authors are frequently hybrid works writers. what’s not to love? Miel also does something rare – their chaps and microchaps have ISBNs, making them more available/visible to bookstores and libraries.

Red Bird Chapbooks – Have you seen Donna Vorreyer’s chapbook, Encantado? Its cover and images throughout were done by Matt Kish. It’s printed in full color on Superfine Ultra White Eggshell Paper. The inside text is printed on Archival Bright White paper. It’s in Garamond. I know all these things because Red Bird prints them on the copyright page! This is artistic pride, and well founded.

Sometimes it’s the small details that offer huge results: Hyacinth Girl and Blood Pudding both use pretty ribbon bindings, and full color covers. Dancing Girl’s covers are also in full color, but the texture of the covers are also somehow stylistically appropriate to the content (Sara Henning’s Garden Effigies cover feels like a sketchbook, mirroring the poems’ light touch and deft craft. Mary McMyne’s Wolfskin feels like a well worn storybook.) It doesn’t have to be an all out extravaganza. I have read and loved chapbooks where the presses didn’t go to such extraordinary lengths. I think, though, that something about the process of making these and reading them binds the reader and publisher together as people who love the same things. It also seems to imply a relationship with the author/connection with his or her work that as the reader, I appreciate.


small prestivus 2015, 2

I adore the title of your chapbook and the ellipse design after each title of the poems within. There’s a sense of longing that permeates the book. What inspired Portage

The poems in Portage were inspired directly by my childhood, and being raised by my grandparents. When you’re raised by people who are a generation removed from most people’s parents, the question of how to hold on to memories is an ever pressing one, because they can see their own past slipping into history. I felt this sense of urgency move into high gear when my sister died while I was in high school, and have been trying to figure out ways to preserve my personal history/the ephemeral things I hold dear ever since.


How do you define chapbook? A small collection of tightly woven poems, linked thematically or stylistically.

What makes a good chapbook? I think it’s important that each individual poem has a clear relationship to the next. Of course, as associate editor for ELJ, I also hope that the poems in each manuscript are polished, and as a reader I enjoy the physical object, but a core value for me is that strong link between each poem.


What chapbooks are inspiring you these days? So many! M. Mack’s Traveling (Hyacinth Girl, 2015), Shana Youngdahl’s Winter/Windows (Miel, 2013), Ruth Foley’s Creature Feature (ELJ, 2015), Laura Gordon’s Generalizations About Spines (Yellow Flag, 2015) (really anything by Lauren Gordon – all her chaps are amazing!), Amorak Huey‘s The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014) — these are just a few!

What chapbooks or chapbook poets have impacted your writing the most? I am so fortunate to workshop often with Jennifer MacBain Stevens and Sarah Lilius. Sarah’s What Becomes Within is brave and poignantly written, and Jennifer’s Jeanne (Be About It Press, 2015) and The Visitant (Shirt Pocket, 2015) are tightly woven and have such beautiful unexpected language. I also really love Sally Rosen Kindred‘s Darling Hands, Darling Tongue (Hyacinth Girl, 2014), Mary McMyne’s Wolfskin (Dancing Girl, 2014), Kelly Boyker’s Zoonosis (Hyacinth Girl, 2014), and Sara Biggs Chaney’s Ann Coulter’s Letter to the Young Poets (Dancing Girl, 2014).

What do you look for when you put together a chapbook? (I think I mostly answered this above)

How are you trying to get better as a chapbook poet? I’m trying to look for unexpected links in my work which already exist, and to write longer sequences. I have poet A.D.H.D, and tend to race from one interesting thing to another, rather than really settling in with a topic, and letting it blossom.

What’s next for you? I’m finalizing a full length manuscript of poems about Glinda the Good Witch who’s grown tired of Oz, and who leaves. These poems explore the intertwined ideas of home and identity.

Number of chapbooks you own: 30? 40? Many…

Number of chapbooks you’ve read: Almost all that I own. I am just now catching up with my AWP haul.


Talk about your commitment to the chapbook writing community. I enjoy reading chapbook manuscripts for ELJ, and appreciate their commitment to discovering new artists. I try to read widely, and beyond my own circle of friends, and tweet/Facebook promote the amazing finds I make. I’d like to commit to writing more reviews, but right now I owe 2-3, and this is enough of a backlog to tell me that this might be beyond me for now. Writing reviews is something that I really enjoyed doing as a School Librarian, and have moved away from it to a degree to focus on generating new material. Time to get back to it!

Ways you promote and serve other chapbook poets: Mostly, I recommend the ones I read and like to friends/followers. I try to talk about titles that I adore often in interviews and online, because word of mouth is so important in our community. I also enjoy trading manuscripts, because manuscript critiquing services can be expensive. (Of course, this is also self serving, because I get a second set of eyes/third/fourth, and I get to preview wonderful work.)

Where you spend your chapbook earnings: In my imagination — the only place that currency’s accepted.

Residence: Manassas, Virginia

Job: Free Range Librarian

Chapbook education: MFA from George Mason University in Creative Writing Poetry, MSLiS in School Librarianship from Catholic University of America (They seem equally important to my chapbook’s generation!)

Chapbook Bio: Sarah Ann Winn’s poems have appeared or will appear in Cider Press Review, Hobart (online), Massachusetts Review, Quarterly West, and RHINO, among others. Porkbelly will be releasing her micro chapbook, Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, in Summer of 2016. Her chapbook, Portage, is available as a free download from Sundress Publications. Visit her at or follow her @blueaisling on Twitter.

small prestivus 2

the chapbook interview: Scott Abels on there is room

scott abels

You are the author of the chapbooks A State of The Union Speech (Beard of Bees Press, 2015) and Nebraska Fantastic (Beard of Bees Press, 2012), as well as the full-length books Rambo Goes to Idaho (BlazeVox, 2011) and New City (BlazeVox, 2015). You also have a MFA from Boise State University. What did you learn during your MFA studies and undergrad degree in literature about the chapbook?

I think the best approach I found to writing poems in grad school was to decide that the goal of writing a poem was simply to get me to the next poem—which is a way of saying I wasn’t thinking much about publication back then, happily, just trying to generate as many different kinds of poems as I could  and to keep moving forward (and, yes, the never-ending workshop deadlines do help you keep moving forward).  We were reading a lot of Jack Spicer back then, trying to get our heads around the idea of the “serial poem,” which seemed to have two priorities: 1) the idea that poems don’t live very well by themselves, but just seem to be more productive in groups (not everyone agrees with this, of course, but it seemed a lot more important than the well-crafted poems in The New Yorker, which I’ve heard described as delivering the perfect feeling of a pat on the as—yes, I enjoy a pat on the ass, but I want poetry to do more than that), and 2) the spirit and energy of the myth of Orpheus, which demands that one keeps moving forward, and, at the risk of death, never looking back, as if the life of the poem ends if there is a pause and a backward glance.  Then one year Robin Blazer (who formed one third of the triad of Robert Duncan/Jack Spicer/Robin Blazer, a crew which did a lot for poetry in America) came to read at BSU, and that whole idea of serial poetry became a bit more contemporary for me, while also demonstrating how important extended poetry communities are to generating poetry.  Other longer, experimental lyric sequences that I found (and still find, in different ways) generative include the work of Ted Berrigan, John Berryman, and Alice Notley.  So I think most of us in grad school were thinking not about poems, but about books.  Martin Corless-Smith taught a tremendous class on poems as books, which, arguably, is very much a British and American poetic tradition from Milton to Blake to Whitman and so many others.  And, of course, there was this great experimental poetry press right there—Ahsahta Press, brought back to life right in front of us by the strong editorial guidance of Janet Holmes—which always had us thinking about the book’s place in writing individual poems.  And so, it occurred to most of us that a longer sequence was just more interesting than writing a short lyric and then seeking publication for it.  Of course, I keep saying “book,” while I am being asked about the “chapbook,” so, to clarify, I am using the term “book” inclusively and expansively, which works for the purpose of this conversation.  Chapbooks are a short book format–but are still in every way “books”—which perhaps offer a more accessible set of attributes (they are smaller, more portable, cheaper to produce, potentially more approachable to readers, etc…).

Your chapbook A State of The Union Speech tackles issues of sustainability, agriculture, big agribusiness, and government. What inspires you to write and what inspired you specifically to write your new chapbook?

There is a sort of creative writing classroom cliche that says that you write a novel to say or do the things that only novels can do, you write a play to say or do the things that only drama can do, and you write a poem to say or do things that only poetry can do.  Though I’m not entirely sure what that all means, it does help me think about the things that poetry is particularly good at.  Poetry is very good at rendering memory, poetry is great at comedy, poetry is great at helping us have a conversation about politics and/or power dynamics, and poetry is really great with absurdity—which, along with a tolerance for ambiguity, is, I think, essential to imagination.  And so, although a lot of the politics which that particular sequence of poems takes on are very real, vital, and sincere, I wonder if (or, rather, I hope) the value can really be found in the absurd otherworldly atmosphere of the poem—which is to say I hope it is fun and that it might even help people with their imagination.

As far as what inspires the political content–sustainability, agriculture, big business, and government—of the chapbook, perhaps that comes from the process of composing the poem.  It mostly comes from the news (or the news I read, which must somehow reflect what I’m trying to pay attention to).  If poets are always listening to language, then a lot of the language I find amazing (hilarious, otherworldly, imaginative, etc…) comes from the news.  But of course it becomes those amazing things when the context shifts; isn’t that what metaphor is: the magic act of bridging an impossible distance by placing two fantastically distant yet specific things side by side as if it’s just the most natural thing in the neighborhood. And so, I admit that an awful lot of the language in my poems is a collage of news headlines, news phrases, and conversations among strangers that I overhear by chance.  That’s a lot of the language that surrounds me, I suppose, coherent or not, and the game of piecing the ensemble together gives me great joy.

Yes, I can tell that about your work—your delight in the language and the play of the way words are put together by others. Reading your work makes for a provocative and joyful read, even at a cursory glance, like perusing the titles of your poems. I adore the title of your chapbook Nebraska Fantastic and the individual titles of your poems. Tell me about your use of titles and the poets and the collections you admire who title with verve and style.

Thanks!  Earlier, I had mentioned influences such as Spicer, Berrigan, Berryman, and Notley, and I will also point to those poets in the context of great titles.  As far as younger poets, I would add Nate Pritts to the list of great titlers, as he’s not afraid of indulging in grand superlatives—as in his Sensational Spectacular out with BlazeVOX [books]—to express a contemporary romanticism, which reminds me that the two-thousand year old tradition of messing around with what it means to say “I” in a poem (articulation of self-hood) isn’t yet exhausted, at all.  Also, Michael Earl Craig stands out as a contemporary master of titling (Yes, Master; Can you Relax in My House; Thin Kimono), being capable of both grand humor and grand heart, simultaneously.

I wrote Nebraska Fantastic during the years that I taught English (as a second language) in rural Mexico, which is to say I was swimming in English that was being spoken by folks who were just beginning to learn the language.  So much of that language was amazing—really, that kind of astonishing syntax and vocabulary, with its unique and authentic balances and imbalances and risk of failure—and I say that out of a real respect for how difficult language acquisition is.  Having also taught English (as a second language) for many years in Hawai’i, so much of the language I heard on the job was making its way into my poems, which then began to grow into a long series that took the point of view of an English language learner attempting to make sense of a foreign country in a foreign language (English).  It just now occurs to me that those poems were an exercise in dictation—that old practice of recording the voice of a distant or imaginary character.  When it came to the point where I let a few editors look at those poems, a few people had the sense that the poems had the effect of mocking the speaker, as if that was my intention.  This of course mortified me, and the poems were destroyed.  And so, to be clear, despite what I really think were my best intentions, I acknowledge that project was a mistake, as the risk of offending groups of people in that context was never a risk I thought was worthy or interesting.  Having said that, I think that a certain awkwardness is important to my writing, and I suppose this is where a lot of that awkwardness comes from: having lived a few years within a number of layers of language barriers, and inviting those layers into my work.  The idea is that the challenges of translating a language and translating an experience (or memory) aren’t really so different, and the imbalances and breakdowns involved are important.  Thus, in that chapbook, I tried to play with Nebraska as someone who had never been to Nebraska, as an imaginary extreme outsider, even though I did indeed grow up there, and anyway Nebraska was on my mind, from many thousands of miles away.

I love the cleverness of your poetry. For example, your poem “Nebraska Family Tree” includes two keys, the first with notations like EF for excessive firearms and SRP for strong religious preference. Your notes indicate a thanks to a relative who complied a family tree. Talk about navigating familial truths in poetry

Thank you for saying so, and for posing this good question.  Both of my books are often approached as “semi-autobiographical,” and I do not know why. I’m not being coy here, I really don’t know why. I’m from Nebraska and I have a number of poems about Nebraska.  I have an MFA from Boise State University, and the speaker of Rambo Goes to Idaho is also an MFA student at that same school.  So I get that the basic frame sets up an “semi-autobiographical” reading on a surface level, but I don’t think such a reading holds up in any interesting way beyond that.  And, more importantly, I think that an autobiographical focus does nothing for the poems—but it probably does hold them back from whatever they are.  So you ask a great question here, and my response is that I try very hard not to navigate actual familial truth through poetry.  Others do this very well (Maggie Nelson’s handling of her aunt’s death in Jane: A Murder is a masterful example).  I’ve heard poets such as Matt Hart state something close to the notion that there is never a speaker in their poems—which is to say the speaker in their poems is never a construct, but the actual poet speaking through the lyric “I” (perhaps that’s the fingerprint of the so called “New Sincerity” poets, if you were to discard all the Tao Lin hipster self-absorption).  The idea of the poet speaking directly to the reader is a great way to read Whitman, I think, but a bad way to read my work.  Yes, my “Nebraska Family Tree” sequence spans five generations in Nebraska, quite like my own family, but that’s numbers that form the frame, not the emotional content.  And, yes, some of the language and structure of the sequence are credited to my mother’s excellent work with our family tree, but there is no useful correlation between the book’s characters and my own ancestors—maybe there are a few original characteristics, but the addition of fictitious characteristics removes the entire sequence from my actual family, as in Denise Riley’s wonderful notion of interpolation (if you introduce new elements into a thing, the whole of the thing is fundamentally different than the original elements—it is a new whole thing). Or maybe a more conservative maxim would be Richard Hugo’s good advice that if the barn was red but it needs to be yellow for the poem, you make the barn yellow.

How do you define chapbook? I think it’s a short book—loosely speaking, it’s a size somewhere in between a book and a pamphlet/broadside.  It’s a form most popular with poets, I think, though there are plenty of fiction chappies coming out.  And what complicates the idea of chapbook is the popularity of e-chapbooks, which makes sense to me (though some folks consider this an oxymoron, as you can’t put an e-book in your pocket; I think that’s a silly reason to reject e-chapbooks, as the idea is portability, which the internet is great at).  I bring up e-chappies because the form reminds me that chapbook makers often have the ethic of low-cost (both production costs and cost to the consumer) and also ease of production.

What makes a good chapbook? Often it’s great poems made by low tech/low cost production.  But of course there is a huge range of production values to fit great poetry, from pdfs to letterpress.

What chapbooks are inspiring you these days? I’ll answer this by naming some publishers.  The New Megaphone, Horse Less Press, Dancing Girl, and Sixth Finch have been putting out good stuff in recent years.

What chapbooks or chapbook poets have impacted your writing the most? Jack Spicer’s poems are back in print as “Collected Poems,” thanks to Peter Gizzi (you can still find Spicer’s Robin Blazer edited “Collected Poems” but it’s expensive and out of print).  But I would argue that a lot of the poems in that book were published as chapbooks by micro-presses.  Boise State University (where I went to grad school) happened to have a number of first-edition Spicer chapbooks, which I used to check out and spend time with long before I realized how rare those copies were.  It was a lot of fun to read his Billy the Kid in its original format.

What do you look for when you put together a chapbook? Oh, it has to work together as a whole, just like a book.  So I suppose I have the same criteria as a book, just within a smaller size/scope.  That’s sort of a simple answer, but it does feel that simple to me.

How are you trying to get better as a chapbook poet? By trying to be patient.  These things take time–a lot more time than they used to for me.  But I think the result is that though I’ll take a lot more time to put together a chapbook (and lately my book-length manuscripts are a combination of several linked chapbooks) than I used to–maybe a year more than I used to–the end product is much better.  I stopped self-publishing a number of years ago–which maybe is a bummer–but working through the publication process does help slow things down, and anyway rejection has helped me eliminate a lot of weak writing.  And part of being patient is not worrying about output.  Sure, most/all writer’s have feeling of guilt for not writing enough, but I hope we also all recognize that these things come and go, and come again.

What’s next for you? I’ve been deleting a number of poems that I have wrongfully been attached to in the last two years, so, as I’ve mentioned above, I’m taking my time with about ten good poems.  Some of these are published, some not yet, but I’m looking for the thread(s) that will help them grow into a chapbook-size thing.  It’s probably called Well, but maybe it will become No Hunting.

Current chapbook reading list: Chad Reynold’s Esu-Dei-Vie

Number of chapbooks you own: Probably 50.

Number of chapbooks you’ve read: Oh, I just really don’t know.

Talk about your commitment to the chapbook writing community. Maybe I’ll turn the question and say what the chappie community has done for me.  Earlier I mentioned Beard of Bees and Publishing Genius as publishers of e-books.  Also, Moria.  These first became important to me because I was living in rural Mexico, where I didn’t trust the local postal service, and so the internet was my primary source for poetry.  That was pretty important to me, being lonely in a foreign country.

Ways you promote and serve other chapbook poets: Not sure I’ve done so much, but issue six of my online poetry journal Country Music is all PDF chapbooks.  I am proud of that issue.  I wish I had more time (took more time) to review the work of authors I like.  I’ve done that a bit, but not enough.  If you’re looking to get your name out there, review books!  Everybody’s looking for reviews, and everybody’s also looking to get reviewed, so do the work and fill the void.

Your chapbook credo: There is room.

Alternate credo: Bring back fun.

Where you spend your chapbook earnings: I’ve published my chapbooks with Beard of Bees, and the most chapbook thing about them is it’s all for free.  It’s done for free, and it’s available for free.  It’s what sometimes gets called the small press gift culture.

Your chapbook wish: Flood the market!

Residence: On the farm, near Stanton, Nebraska.  My great-great-grandfather homesteaded the property.

Job: I teach English at Northeast Community College, where I also coordinate the ESL and Developmental English programs.

Chapbook education: In grad school, we’d be sure to crank out a homemade chapbook at least once a year (usually by unauthorized use of the English department’s copy machine, but sometimes we’d skip the bar and go to Kinkos).  We, a small circle of use, didn’t worry about publishing much at the time; I think that hand make work was a way of moving on to the next thing.  But I also think that was the beginning of a very real object worship with the concept of books (yes, that applies to online design as well).

Chapbook Bio: Scott Abels is the author of Nebraska Fantastic (Beard of Bees, 2011) and A STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH (Beard of Bees, 2015).

the chapbook interview: Bud Smith on trusting muscle memory

You are the author of the chapbook Fun Times in the Wild (Unknown Press) and Or Something Like That (Unknown Press), both published by your press, as well as the two novels, the  book F 250 (Piscataway House, 2014), Tollbooth (Piscataway House, 2013), a full-length collection of poetry Everything Neon (Marginalia2014), and two additional collections Tables Without Chairs (House of Vlad, 2015) with Brian Alan Ellis and a forthcoming novella, I’m From Electric Peak. What did you learn in school about the chapbook?

I didn’t learn about chapbooks in high school and that’s as far as I got.

I started making them to give out for free at readings, especially bookstores, where I’d make up a chapbook of the set I was going to read (Fun Times in the Wild, is just some of the newer short stories I love to read). I give the chapbook to anyone who buys something from the book store. A way to support the venue that is cool enough to have the reading. I’ve made other chapbooks from time to time and there always, just a set. Like … Hey thanks for saying you liked the reading and asking what book that piece is in, but since it won’t be in a proper published book by a press, here’s a DIY chap I made last night so I wasn’t reading off my phone.

This is what I know about chapbooks from making them and from reading them:

They are best, slim

You can’t get too creative with it, drawings and doodles and maps and whatever

A long stapler is the best thing on earth

I’m reading your chapbook Fun Times in the Wild. I had the chance to hear you read the opening short story “Tiger Blood” at Small Prestivus this summer. This story, as well as others in the chapbook, take surreal and strange turns that are imaginative, quirky, and provocative. What contemporary writers do you admire who do similar work?

Thanks, for the kind words. “Tiger Blood” is a story about a guy who goes on a first date with a girl who reveals that she has tigers that live in her blood cells, he counters with the revelation that he eats rocks to help him digest.

One of them on this first date is extraordinary … Which is something that happens sometimes. You meet someone in the world and you cannot keep them, you’re not enough for them …

Quirky fiction where the strange and surreal surface, still remind me of the real world, because sometimes in real life, a person can just look around and say ‘wow this whole being alive thing is such an insignificant joke, any second now I’m going to vaporize into dust, it’s all meaningless and all I can do is laugh at myself and laugh at everyone around me, and peel back the regular scenery of this life to reveal representative joy and sadness’. This realization might happen at the super market or it might happen while driving to or from work. What can you do after that thought pops in your head?

Fun Times in the Wild is a wacka-doo look at the seemingly mundane. Its characters and events are perhaps happening in some dream world, but the implications of what it means to be mortal, lonely and alienated/oppressed are true to what it means to live on this planet at this moment in time.

Some great writers who are doing this same style are, Ben Loory, Amelia Gray, Matthew Simmons, Aimee Bender, Dolan Morgan and Amber Sparks just to name a few. I first found my way into imaginative literature from reading Kurt Vonnegut, he’s dead now, but don’t tell him I said that, I’d hate to discourage him.

The stories in your chapbook are playful and surprising. Discuss your day-to-day writing process.

I write on my cellphone usually, in the notes app. The short stories in Fun Times were written typically, first drafts taking 15 minutes or so and then revised here and there over time. My daily writing approach is just to always have my phone on me and to write a story or poem if it comes. And to do it quick.

As far as approach I usually write a story because it feels like a stupid idea. I like to bend stupid ideas, into something that might have a little shiny gem about it somehow—a man finding a talking seashell that negatively influences his life; a girl raises an eagle from a hatchling to a dragon-size terror; a spaceship lands in a man’s yard and no one can see it but him … These all start as little scenes of what would be C movies in my mind and I just slap the stories down as fast as I can, pretty much just trying to keep up with the absurdity as it zips by.

I don’t always write surreal stories like these. Realism has its appeal and so does surrealism for me. Fun Times is a collection of stories that could be cartoons. Something exciting happens when you are writing about a cartoon character but treating it like it has a complex mind, emotions, ways to relate to the other cartoons around them, who are also deeply aware of that common though I think most humans are wrapped up with “What the fuck is going on?”


How do you define chapbook? Little book you make yourself or with a cohort.

What makes a good chapbook?
Can read it all on a lunch break. Or in between green lights.

What chapbooks are inspiring you these days? 
Sam Slaughter’s short story chap When You Cross the Line and the recent chap by Juliet Escoria, Witch Babies.

What do you look for when you put together a chapbook? Strong theme. A collection of punk songs or Loony Toon cartoons.

How are you trying to get better as a chapbook poet? Always go a little crazier. Be messier. Not take any of it too serious. Trust muscle memory.

What’s next for you? Working on a novel about the dirt road I grew up on and the campground we lived in for a while.

Bio: Bud Smith is the author of the novels, F 250 and Tollbooth, the short story collection Or Something Like That and the poetry collection Everything Neon.

Journeys, Family Histories, Lives,and Food: A Reflection and Review of Recent Collections by Joshua Gray


I met Joshua Gray recently in Philadelphia in a Northern burrow of the town in an old building that had been repurposed as a museum and a library where the Fox Chase Reading Series hosts its Saturday afternoon readings of poets, ones connected to the literary journal with the same name and with other events the poetry community there supports, such as a youth literary contest and featured reading by the poetry winners. In late March 2015, I had the opportunity to be part of a reading by Red Dashboard poets and writers, hosted by the managing editor Elizabeth Akin Stelling, and featuring work by Marian Cohen, Joshua Gray, Diane S. Guarnieri, and more. The room was filled with antiques and the midday light made brilliant the patches of snow that melted in the grass on the long sloping hills that surrounded the building. Josh was one of the first poets to read, and one I had only known previously via social media. He read several poems, dressed in a brown corduroy jacket and after a small break, the reading featured an open mic, during which his niece also read, a poem with just enough performative verve that her presence and potential was tangible.


The event wrapped up with a book signing and a dinner at a local pub, but before all the tables and folding chairs were put away, I had the opportunity to get copies of two of his collections, with a promise from the editor to have his newest shipped directly to me as soon as it was released. I had the opportunity a few months later to interview him about his chapbook. I haven’t been to India. I’ve only visited one ashram. I’ve never traveled through the lands that writers like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, Jhumpa Lahiri in her novel The Namesake, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in her novels like Queen of Dreams invoke, even still, I welcome books that bring me there through words.

Gray’s chapbook Mera Bharat offers poems permeated by the acts of living and traveling abroad in India where the author lived for two years and visited for several months after college. The daily maintenance of life infuses Mera Bharat—food eating, tea and alcohol drinking, pest removal, public transportation, sleeping accommodations—seeming to make urgent the necessary upkeep we all keep to in an effort to belong. For example, in “Roaches” the author describes a motel stay where in the morning,

my eyelids rose to meet two antenna

Anchored two inches from my nose. On each bed

A handful of them regained their strength

While the floor slowly moved. (4)

Elsewhere, the author is up “all night waiting for a giant spider to run across my stomach” (32). In “Liver in Rishikesh” the author is plagued by cramps, the dreaded traveler’s sickness, and isn’t cured until he visits with a doctor who tells him his liver is bad, but feeds him powder and honeyed medicine balls that cure whatever that’s infected him (13-140). The body in close proximity to the insect world is vivid in these passages—cringing, visceral aspects of life some of us in the United States gird ourselves against by privilege, insecticide, and chemically treated public water. Yet such passages remind us just how privileged we are here, even as they evoke the mystery, seduction, and curious exploration of place in a musical and lyric tone.

In Principles of Belonging Gray pays close attention to sound, music, and lyric is a book composed in a form he invented, the sympoe, to adapt Sanskrit into the English language, as well as blank verse, visual, sonnets, and others. The book-length poem or novel in verse explores the lives of four children over the span of nearly fifty years as they grow up and live in India, Belgium, and the United States and experience bullying, family alcoholism, divorce, Indian Patrician, parental anger, and more. Principles of Belonging explores the life of Gray’s parents and in-laws and how they attempted to belong in a world as they move from being children to the parents of twenty-somethings. What I particularly appreciate about Principles of Belonging is the endeavor to take up a new poetic form as the author attempts to depict familial lives across the world and create a narrative harmony of lives across time. A similarly structured book is Marge Saiser’s Losing the Ring in the River (University of New Mexico Press). Both speak to other persona poems and sequences of persona poems highlighted in recent anthologies like A Face to Meet the faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (University of Akron Press) and Knocking at the Door: Approaching the Other (Birch Bench Press), as well as the chapbook Our End Has Brought the Spring (Finishing Line Press) by Cat Dixon on Eva Braun, the wife of Hitler.

Finally Gray’s newest book is Steel Cut Oats arrived yesterday at my home. It’s a collection that includes both poems and recipes. I particularly drawn to the recipes and the idea of cooking preparation being part of a collection of poetry. Recently, Anneli Matheson and Diane Goetell edited Feast: Poetry and Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner from Black Lawrence Press, one that is both poetry anthology and cookbook. Though I haven’t yet carried Feast or Steel Cut Oats into the kitchen to try to cook up what such poets and writers make, I have been feasting on the writing, turning the pages, considering how we might feed ourselves with such words.


the chapbook interview: “I didn’t know that chapbooks existed” Raylyn Clacher on chapbook existence


You are the author of the chapbook All of Her Leaves (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) and have a MFA from the University of Nebraska. What did you learn during your MFA studies and undergrad degree about the chapbook?

I was first introduced to the chapbook during a summer writing workshop through the University of Nebraska Lincoln with Zachary Schomburg. Before that class, I was kind of writing in this little bubble with no concept of the outside writing world. Honestly, I thought I was a freak for coming home from my job as a manager and working on these little poems that never went anywhere. Drafts kept accumulating but never got completed.

In that class, Zach brought in a bunch of chapbooks the last day. They were beautiful. It sounds silly, but I didn’t know that chapbooks existed. I thought your poetry collection had to be larger to be published. I loved the size of the books, how they felt like these compact little nuggets of power and emotion. During that workshop he also talked about creating continuity in your collection through repetition and naming.

Through my MFA studies, I learned how to actually see my poems through to completion, how to harness the wild imagery into a larger narrative. I learned to give them direction and force. I learned to persevere. These experiences came into play when I started taking a look at the work I’d accumulated the summer before my graduating semester. I started to notice some threads running through my work. I thought about that workshop with Zach and began to play around with the idea of a character who could step into some of the poems to give them a larger narrative.

That’s what I adore about your poetry—the wild imagery. All of Her Leaves offers Laura Ingalls Wilder, tornadoes, owls, cooking and eating, motherships, fire, crows, and worms hefted around your lines with fierce verbs. What poets and collections of work do you admire that have employ imagery in ways you find provocative and inspiring?

Thank you! That’s part of what I love about writing – the permission to let your imagination run free and play. As far as inspiration, it always kind of begins and ends with Sylvia Plath for me. I was introduced to her poem, “Mirror” in Mrs. Borrego’s sophomore English class and have been fascinated with how Plath uses imagery ever since then. Her work has this clear, visceral edge to it that (for me) comes from the startling, exact images. In “Mirror,” I can inhabit the world of this object. I can feel the unstoppable terror of age approaching, this “terrible fish” that she’s becoming. You can’t leave a Plath poem without at least one powerful image pinned in your brain.

I’ve also been inspired by Zachary Schomburg and Patricia Lockwood’s work. Schomburg has this way of inhabiting and animating something unexpected, like a refrigerator in “Refrigerator General” and not only bringing it to life, but giving it emotion and resonance. I love how Lockwood employs imagery in her work and lets her imagination run wild. It’s like each poem of hers sees a string of images or association of words through to their full conclusion. She explores every possibility before putting a poem to bed.

As I revise work, I’ve been trying to think of Elizabeth Bishop more and balance her out with my impulse to run wild. I love how she calmly inhabits an image and gives it it’s full due. There’s this methodical calm to her work – like in “The Weed,” she takes her time to focus on and fully flesh out this weed rather than moving on too hastily. I’m trying to work on this balance.

With all the things in life that conspire against the work of poems, what brings you to and inspires you to write the images and stories you tell in your poetry and specifically in All of Her Leaves?

Ironically, I feel like it’s those things in life that conspire against the work of poems that generate images and stories for me – that kind of chaos and upheaval that makes it hard to sit down and write. The work in All of Her Leaves came out of a really chaotic time for me. Not only was I going through a lot of life changes, but my friends were too. I had a lot of anxiety and uneasiness, which I’ve found usually leads me to look at things differently. I think it’s my brain’s way of making sense of things and neutralizing them.

For example, the poem “My Heart is Overfed” started with the image of the pig’s bladder from the Little House on the Prairie books and this feeling of wanting to go back in time. Then it became this idea of trying to swallow all of the good things of the earth before they disappear. It was this idea of being in love, but also being worried that that love may leave or not work out, this feeling of grabbing everything you can while you can, of savoring the moment.

It’s this kind of disconnect and tension that generates poetry for me. When I’m anxious or struggling with something an image or phrase will pop into my head. Sometimes it happens while I’m driving or at work. I jot it down for later when I can come back to it. The trick is finding the time to flesh out the poem.

Beyond your publishing record and your MFA, I know you work full-time and are an expecting mother. Talk about your writing discipline. How does work and pregnancy make possible moments to flesh out your poetry?

Like all of us, I’ve learned that I have to make time to write – if I wait for a chunk of time to present itself, it’s never going to. My list of to do’s will always be there. The best time for me to write is early in the morning, before the day starts. Otherwise my brain is mush by the end. Sometimes I can sneak some writing or reading in over my lunch break too. I’m trying to get better at making the most of shorter bursts of time, because I have the feeling that’s going to be key once the baby comes. I have no idea what life is going to be like in a few more months, but I know that writing is one of the things that I want to hang onto and make time for.

How do you define chapbook? A smaller collection of poetry, usually tightly focused on a theme or narrative.

What makes a good chapbook? Something that’s tightly woven thematically, that pulls me from poem to poem.

What chapbooks or chapbook poets have impacted your writing the most? Shannan Ballam’s The Red Riding Hood Papers

What do you look for when you put together a chapbook? A good story line that will keep people engaged.

How are you trying to get better as a chapbook poet? I’m trying to read more and support the chapbook community.

Raylyn Clacher

What’s next for you? Working on getting my full length manuscript out there, hopefully pulling another chap together, ideally putting together a reading series in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas.

Current chapbook reading list: The Girl of My Dreams by April Salzano; Housewifery by Carly Anne Ravnikar; Small Like a Tooth by Carolyn Williams-Noren

Number of chapbooks you own: Not enough. About 10.

Number of chapbooks you’ve read: about 10. I need to get to more!

Your chapbook credo: I tell other writers to submit! Gather your poems together and see what kind of story they’re telling. You might have a chapbook brewing that you’re unaware of.

the chapbook interview: Andrea Blythe on poetry challenges, fairy, and Margaret Atwood on Wattpad


You’re the author of a three chapbooks, The Poetry Project (2014), Over the Hill and Through the Woods (2012), and The First Kiss and Other Poems (2007). You also have a BA in Modern Literature. What did you learn in school about the chapbook?

In all my time studying modern literature at the university level, I don’t remember a teacher ever mentioning chapbooks. It wasn’t until after college, when I began to pursue writing as a career (oh, my, the misconceptions I had), that I began to learn about alternative avenues of publication, such as zines, chapbooks, and small presses. It’s been a slow discovery, one largely driven by my growing involvement with creative communities both online and in person. I didn’t quite understand chapbooks at first, what they were and what they were capable off as creative objects. Now, I find myself becoming more and more interested in chapbooks and how small spaces can allow writers room for a great amount of creativity. If I’m at an event and a writer has a chapbook available, it’s pretty much a given that I’m going to buy it. I want to collect as many chapbooks as I can and I am particularly fascinated by beautiful hand-bound and crafted chapbooks, as well as the do-it-yourself possibilities, which is how The First Kiss and Other Poems (and all of my existing chapbooks, really) came about.


You chapbook Over the Hill and Through the Woods retells fairy tales and folk lore. Discuss your process for writing poems based on research and pre-existing texts.

For most of the poems, I wrote based on my own memory of the tales I’ve loved most of my life. Although, for a few, particularly lesser known tales, such as “Snow White and Rose Red,” I refreshed my memory by turning to the traditional versions. Sur la Lune Fairy Tales was particularly helpful in this regard.

Sur la Lune was also where I discovered a third ending for “The Little Mermaid.” The first is the well-known Disney, happily ever after ending. The second ending is rather bleak, in which the prince marries another princess and the mermaid throws herself into the sea, becoming nothing more than sea foam because mermaids don’t have souls. The third ending, as told on Sur la Lune, provides a sadly hopeful ending—when the mermaid casts herself into the sea, she becomes a kind of spirit. As a spirit and by doing good deeds, she is able to earn a soul of her own and ascend to heaven. This third version is what inspired my poem “The Sea Witch,” and it’s the only poem in the collection for which I did additional research, looking into the mythology of sea witches and the kinds of spells they cast, some of which I included in the poem. Most of this information I found online, through wikipedia and other sources.

What contemporary writers do you admire who do similar retelling work?

Catherynne M. Valente is a poet and novelist and her work is phenomenal, with richly textured language. I love the ways she adapts fairy tales and folklore, presenting unique feminist spins on old stories, while still evoking the feeling of magic you get from the original tales. Her novel Deathless retells the Russian folktale, Koschei the Deathless, interweaving historical aspects the Russian Revolution. The folk feeling is maintained through repeated imagery and patterns of three, a common number in folklore. And Valente’s novella Six-Gun Snow White sets the Snow White tale in the Wild West and turns the dwarves into a troupe of female outlaws.

The Fables graphic novel series by Bill Willingham is also fantastic, interweaving multiple fairy tales all into one story with a mixture of frightening and comedic results. Prince Charming is an arrogant, charming jerk, who was married to Snow White, Briar Rose, and Cinderella at one time or another—and they all hate him.

In terms of poetry, I recently read Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann, which explores the horrors of being a teenage girl using fairy tales and mythology.

There are also some excellent lit journals that publish fairy tale and folklore retellings from time to time, such as Goblin Fruit, Stone Telling, and Cabinet Des Fées.


Your chapbook The Poetry Project collects poems inspired by prompts during National Poetry Writing Month. Each poem in the chapbook offers readers an author’s note indicating the prompt that inspired the piece. Talk about prompts as a means towards inspiration. How does such a daily schedule motivate an artist to make new work?

For The Poetry Project, I invited readers to participate by submitting a phrase or word as inspiration for a poem. The actual project took place slowly over the course of a couple of years as readers sent in prompts. Sometimes the prompts would inspire a poem immediately and I would let the words spiral off into whatever direction they wanted to go. Other prompts required more work to wrap my head around and I would spend days or sometimes weeks, kneading the idea like taffy until I could stretch it into something that worked.

What I love about prompts are the ways they stretch the mind. Sometimes I find myself writing about the same kinds of things in the same kinds of ways over and over again. Prompts can get you thinking in new directions, send you down paths you might not have visited before.

I have also participated in a number of National Poetry Writing Month daily challenges and for a year attempted to hand write a poem every morning in a journal. I rarely succeed in completing a daily challenge because I’m too distractible. But daily exercise of my writing skills always feels beneficial. It’s like getting up in the morning and stretching; the more I stretch the looser my muscles feel, but when I leave off for days or weeks, the movement at first is painful. It’s the same with writing—the longer I wait between writing sessions, the harder it is to get back into the flow of words again when I return to the page.

Each of your chapbooks are self-published or use DIY publishing. Talk about the platform used to publish the chapbooks. What are the risks in self-publishing? What are the benefits?

I used Wattpad, a digital publishing platform that is free to both readers and writers, for Over the Hill Through the Woods and The Poetry Project. I learned about Wattpad from Margaret Atwood, who has published some poetry on the site. In 2012, Atwood partnered with Wattpad to hold a poetry contest and I joined the site in order to participate. Over the Hill Through the Woods was created as a result of that contest.

Wattpad is ideally designed for serializing works, allowing writers to post a chapter or portion of a work in progress over a number of weeks or months. The platform is primarily designed for engagement with readers, allowing them to comment on each chapter as they are posted. There is no way for writers to earn money for their work, although I’ve seen a few writers gain enough of a readership to attract the attention of traditional publishers.

One of the biggest benefits to a platform like Wattpad is the way it provides that reader interaction, which was what made The Poetry Project so much fun for me to create. The readers and I were able to participate jointly in the creation of the project, which seemed to make them more invested as the project went on.

The challenge is having to do everything yourself. I had to find a way to create the covers and make them compelling — something I have discovered I’m not very good at. It requires self editing (unless you can afford to pay someone). It also meant doing my own marketing. In the case of Wattpad, this means engaging in the community by participating in chatrooms and reading and commenting other writers’ work — all of which was very time consuming. It was time I could have spent working on another writing project.

I also created a hand-folded chapbook, called The First Kiss and Other Poems, which was a very limited edition (less than fifty, I believe) for those who donated to my Hike for Discovery fundraising challenge. This was fantastic fun (though all the hand-folding was quite tedious) and I loved holding the tiny little book in my hand. I always think about what sorts of hand-folded book I might try again, but then I remember how long it actually took to do the folding and I hesitate.


How do you define chapbook? A small-ish book of writing under 40 pages.

What makes a good chapbook? My favorite poetry chapbooks have a theme of some sort, so that they unfold almost like a story. A beautiful binding of some sort also fills me with joy.

What chapbooks are inspiring you these days? I adore 8th Grade Hippie Chic by Marisa Crawford and TEN by Val Dering Rojas. Both are very different, but what they have in common is vivid language and beautiful printings.

What do you look for when you put together a chapbook? I start with poems I’ve published and look through my files for what I consider to be my best work. Then, I organize them by similar tone in order to find a cohesive whole. This is a skill that I’m still in the process of learning.

How are you trying to get better as a chapbook poet? Gathering up and reading as many chapbooks as I can get a hand on helps immensely in understanding what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learned a lot from my friend Allie Marini, who released two chapbooks so far this year — Pictures From the Center of the Universe and wingless, scorched & beautiful — with more on the way. Her chapbooks have a great sense of theme, which I’m just learning to apply to my own work.

What’s next for you? I recently finished a chapbook collection called Sincerely Yours, In Spirit, If Not Yet In Body, which is out on submission. I’m hoping it will get picked up and published within the next year. I’m working on a book length collection of poetry and have a novel in poems that I am in the progress of putting together.

Number of chapbooks you own: Not nearly enough, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe a dozen, but probably less.

Number of chapbooks you’ve read: Around a dozen, so far, I think. Again, not nearly enough.

Ways you promote and serve other chapbook poets: I read and review chapbooks and post the reviews on my blog and elsewhere. I’ve also started a Poet Spotlight interview series to highlight poets whose work I enjoy. I try to be active in attending open mics, book launches, and other author events to cheer others on and buildup my chapbook collection.

Where you spend your chapbook earnings: Earnings? What are those?

Your chapbook wish:To connect with an artist and cooperatively put together some sort of limited edition, hand-bound mixture of words and illustrations.

Residence: Bay Area, California.

Job: I’m a managing editor at a technical trade magazine.

Bio: Andrea Blythe graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Modern Literature. She lives in the Bay Area of Northern California, where she writes poetry and fiction. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including Nonbinary Review, Linden Avenue, Chiaroscuro (ChiZine), Strange Horizons, Perigee, Bear Creek Haiku, and Chinquapin. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. You can find her on the web at:


the chapbook interview: Dennis Etzel Jr. on spending less than a dollar to put work out into the world


You’re the author of the chapbook The Sum of Two Mothers (2013) and a forthcoming book from BlazeVOX Books. What did you learn in MFA school about the chapbook as a genre?

Long story short, I started sending off for sample chapbooks in 1995, using the Poets Market as a guide. From that, I started making my own, as well as chapbooks featuring open-mic poets from a weekly Topeka series at a coffeehouse. If I learned anything about the genre, it was from my own study of the aesthetic of figuring out what poems should go in a collection, what order should they be in, etc. I guess that comes from close readings, figuring out if subject, emotion, theme, etc. is the determining factor for what and how poems are placed together.

Part of my background is being a computer programmer/analyst. I worked from 1998-2004 at two different corporate jobs as a programmer/analyst, while taking night courses between 2002-04 for my second degree in English–and the leap out of that world into grad school.

The most education about chapbooks during my MFA came from visiting writers, sharing chapbooks with other MFA students, holding and reading hand-pressed chapbooks (which I love), and studying the all-around aesthetic of book-making; for example, noticing how McSweeney’s strive for quality and uniqueness in their books. However, I value how any chapbook is made, especially as someone can spend less than a dollar to put her or his work out into the world. That is awesome to me!


Given the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality and your chapbook The Sum of Two Moms, talk about your interests in poetry of resistance, poetry of witness, and disobedient poetry.

As a survivor of abuse (at home and at school), my first poems were geared for poetry of witness, and Sharon Olds was the first poet I read. Definitely, the confessional/post-confessional poets drew my interest, and it still feels like I find ways to write out of experience without being “too confessional”–the rejection slip mantra of those first submissions.

I lean now towards finding ways to write poetry of resistance, and admire disobedient poetry too–like kari edwards. As far as Modernists, I love H.D. and Gertrude Stein, what they were doing to not line up with “the poetess” of the times. Stein especially, with Tender Buttons. I also love her “Patriarchal Poetry” poem. I love Quo-Li Driskill’s work, on and off the page. Adrienne Rich is always a go-to, and I admire her Poetry and Commitment speech. I carry around that small book often.

I love how small presses are publishing these kinds of works–to other audiences interested in writing for change. When I think of a new project, it can’t not be about how the poems will revolve around social change or ways of looking at constructions (like mask-ulinity).

Now that there is marriage equality, I am at work on new poems, developing Sum into a larger work.

I adore The Sum of Two Moms. I recently visited Topeka and had the opportunity to visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. Place, cultural norms, and the laws that govern inform the stories told in The Sum of Two Moms. I know you have a book forthcoming from BlazeVOX Books. How does place feature in your new collection?

I know “poetry of place” is one of those hookline tropes, but for poets who were born, raised, or ever lived in Topeka, it is a truth. In fact, I compiled a “Welcome to Topeka Cento” poem, made up of lines from such poets, where the line contained or referred to Topeka or Kansas. See attachment.

It seems everyone who has been a part of Topeka writes about Topeka. In fact, CA Conrad is giving a reading and doing a PACE project here July 17 and 18. CA was born in Topeka.

Also, I am keeping a list:

Cyrus Console confirmed the advice often given for writing about “where you come from,” that it is important to leave. I haven’t been handed that opportunity. I try to find ways to reexamine Topeka:

I’m also a fifth-generation Topekan, so maybe this “home” is home for future Etzels?

I am currently working on other Topeka projects, like Kaia-Sandesque drifts and such. Also, my John Brown project will be finished next week–which leads to answering your second question soon.

How do you define chapbook? Twenty to thirty pages

What makes a good chapbook? Good poems (or writing).

What chapbooks are inspiring you these days?  I love what Kristy Bowen does with Dancing Girl–many of the chapbooks are inspirational themselves, as well as how she is getting wonderful poetry out there in an affordable form.

What chapbooks or chapbook poets have impacted your writing the most? Anne Boyer’s Good Apocalypse (Effing Press, 2006) amazed me. I had put my own chapbooks together with “random art” alongside poems, but Anne’s chap really was a work of art. Her flarflike poems about struggling with poverty, as well as her clippings-meet-texts art stunned me. It still is one of my favorites.

What do you look for when you put together a chapbook? A common theme–something that arches.

How are you trying to get better as a chapbook poet? When I assemble my poems together, I still consider cutting that “best poem” to make the collection feel more cohesive. It is keeping in mind that, even if a chapbook competition says “no longer than 36 pages,” the selected chapbook might have only 26 pages–and those 26 pages are wonderful.

What’s next for you? My next chap is based on a psychogeographic drift I did around the middle school I went to. It is inspired by Kaia Sand’s Remember to Wave.

Current chapbook reading list:
Southern Cryptozoology by Allie Marini Batts

Doll Studies: Forensics by Carol Guess

Number of chapbooks you own: over 100

Number of chapbooks you’ve read: 50ish

Talk about your commitment to the chapbook writing community. Really, I feel the chapbook is the best way one can get her or his words out to others. It only takes five-seven full-size pages to make copies of, fold-over, staple, and carry around to hand out. I encourage people to do that, as well as send their work to chapbook presses they might enjoy being a part of.

Ways you promote and serve other chapbook poets: I also post links on my facebook page. I like taking pictures of the cover’s of books, with my eyes peering over.

Your chapbook credo: Trade ’em, buy ’em, read ’em.

Where you spend your chapbook earnings: On others’ chapbooks

Your chapbook wish: To get a shelf full of chapbooks.

Residence: Topeka, Kansas

Job: Lecturer of English at Washburn University