Recently released by Middle Island Press, The Mermaid’s Thesaurus by Michigan poet Kallima Hamilton titillates the reader with a fresh feminine perspective on subjective life and the plethora of possibilities from which to approach it for adventure and misadventure alike. “From zany to contemplative…she demonstrates the knack for having fun with verse–each syllable rumbles with excitable overtures. Sensual, dense and light-hearted at turns, she uses words to express her unique philosophy of the world. As she puts it in “Mermaid Singing on a Grey Jutting Rock,” all journeys begin with her Mermaid-Muse’s “song-swirling sternum’s jeweled aria.”‘
Monthly Archives: July 2013
Writers focus on BOOKS—period. They can go on writing for years without ever having heard the word “chapbook,” one of those specialty words that every writer and reader should know, because it has both practical purposes and special qualities.
Speaking of practicality, chapbooks are a charmingly effective way for poets to organize their hoards of poetry by theme or by time-frame. Many “major” poetry books are of poems sectioned according to which “minor” collection they originally belonged in. This contributes to the charm of chapbooks and bolsters their value as early editions of poets’ work.
There are also many readers who appreciate being able to sit with a beverage in a cozy nook and read an entire collection in one sitting. (Gratification in an hour, and then over to Amazon.com or a reader’s favorite blog to pen a book review!)
Furthermore, publishing costs through chapbook publishers are remarkably reasonable considering the quality—hundreds less than standard book publishers; perhaps thousands less if one is not expecting a thousand books. There are a few very low-cost chapbook publishers, but I don’t recommend that route for anyone. I can only assume that they use standard copy paper and manage to take enough shortcuts to make a not-so-impressive presentation.
Finally, chapbooks have a “made with love” quality that is a must for poetry. It makes them more gift-suitable than standard books as they appear to be hand-made as opposed to machine-made. They are printed in very small runs, monitored closely for perfect alignment. They are folded and stapled individually, and then trimmed a few at a time. Overall presentation is very crafty.
Chapbooks have been made for hundreds of years, and they do seem to be arriving in fashion among poets as they educate themselves on the benefits of publishing via chapbook publishers.
Middle Island Press is the home of The Chapbook Queen,
Christina Anne Taylor.
(“Cats don’t sell their services; they sell themselves.” –Wm. Burroughs)
We are privileged to have worked again with North Dakota poet Rodney Nelson on presenting his second Middle Island Press chapbook, Sighting the Flood (ISBN 978-1-4675-7626-0), a sophisticated account (with translations from Swedish and German) of recurrent flooding in his area.
From the MIP website:
“Rodney Nelson’s Red River prairie is a seabed, and in flood time the brown waters seem to reach out toward the old shores. Of late, he says, ‘a spring emergency has become routine. Forecasted river levels keep changing. Temporary dikes go up. Everyone is prepared to join in; and at one point the governor makes a public call on Washington for emergency assistance. The so-called flood flight has become ritual and a dark source of pride.’ Some of the poems in Sighting the Flood touch on this annual crisis and the prairie minds that have to undergo it.'”
Sighting the Flood is now available at Amazon.com as well as the Middle Island Press website. As always, we encourage readers to share a kind review.