Three of Philly’s poets, Pattie McCarthy, Alina Pleskova, and Rachel Milligan, have published chapbooks on a medieval visionary, conceptions of desire and identity, and the sometimes-creepy underbelly of reality.
These three presses dropped their very first chapbook this calendar year: Barrelhouse, known for its literary journal; Third Man Books, Jack White’s Third Man Records’ publishing outlet; and Sutra Press, a brand new micro-press out of Clarksville, Arkansas.
Chapbooks that combine the work of a writer with that of a visual artist are rarer than, perhaps, they should be. There’s something special about flipping open a chapbook to find art within its pages as well.
Porkbelly Press is a Cincinnati-based press that puts out chapbooks and micro-chapbooks as well as a literary magazines and anthologies.
While Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work resembles prose poetry more broadly, it uses spaces for its pacing, grammar, and syntax instead of punctuation. Angel Dominguez uses the form to write a series of letters, and Andrea Lawlor’s prose reads like a poetic manual for utopia.
These three poetry chapbooks address aspects of femininity, though a variety of other themes (sometimes related to femininity, other times by its side) abound in each—love, lust, heroism, art, to name a few.
The chapbook box set New-Generation African Poets, edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, is the fifth of its kind, an annual project of the African Poetry Book Fund, produced by Akashic Books. The set consists of chapbooks by poets either living in Africa or of African heritage.
This month, I read work concerning religion in one way or another, though the chapbooks here are not dominated by or entrenched in it as a theme. Instead these three writers use religion and spirituality as a lens through which readers can view many aspects of their poetry.
For National Poetry Month this year, I read three poetry chapbooks that revolve around memory. Childhood memory, historical memory, the body’s learned memory, how place or sound or smell or language or popular culture evokes memory—the chapbooks here all touch on one or more or many of these themes.
This month, I read work from both genderqueer and transgender writers. Inspired by recent tweets, blog posts, and press releases supporting works by these writers, it seemed a good opportunity to spotlight these three chapbooks.