What’s a Chapbook?

Find yourself scrolling through your friends’ social media feeds and seeing that one of your friends just published a chapbook? Getting recommendations to write your own chapbook? What is a chapbook?

A chapbook, in short, is a small collection of poetry that’s under 40 pages. It usually centers on a specific theme. Its format can be like a pamphlet or magazine, or saddle-stitched. Sometimes they are formatted in book format, like in Natasha Teymourian’s Recurrent Events chapbook we published earlier this year.

Why do poets publish chapbooks? Well, for one, they’re inexpensive and not as time consuming when compared to a full-length book of poetry. It gives a nice sampling of a poet’s writing and can even garner a little profit. We all know how hard it is to sell fiction to a publisher: it’s even harder to sell poetry.

And, if your chapbook takes off, it can help attract publishers’ attention and prove that there’s a market for your poetry.

Have you written a chapbook? What’s its theme?

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