As I’ve been discussing (and hawking) in recent days the handmade chapbook I am giving away to chapbook enthusiasts, poem hunters and other readers, I aim to distribute 100 copies of Handmade Rabbit Society in exchange for the author and title of a chapbook that has been self-published or published by a small- or micro-press, with the goal of turning people on to the chapbook format and introducing the work of emerging poets and writers. I am now about a month into this project (funded by a Cultural Equity Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission) and the booklist has begun to grow. So, in chronological order of chapbook/book titles as I’ve received them, here are the first fifteen:
- Louie, Miriam & Nguyen | Ranting Tiger Thundering Bunny (self-pub)
- Doan, Mai | transgression: things I’ve learned from my body (self-pub)
- Becker, Priscilla | Stories That Listen (Four Way Books)
- Goss, Erica | Wildplace (Finishing Line Press)
- Luo, Rona | Mansions and other poems (self-pub)
- Fuller, Casey | A Fort Made of Doors (Floating Bridge Press)
- Wong, Angela Veronica | to know this (Cy Gist Press)
- Rhee, Margaret | Yellow (Tinfish Press)
- Nakayasu, Sawako | Clutch (Tinfish Press)
- Tanemura, Kenny | Mao’s Pears (Tinfish Press)
- Wong, Jane | Dendrochronology (Dancing Girl Press)
- Castro, Guillermo | Cry Me a Lorca (Seven Kitchens Press)
- Beyer, Tamiko | Bough Breaks (Meritage Press)
- Clark, Jackie | I Live Here Now (Lame House Press)
- Killough, Maurine | Underseams (self-pub)
Authors 1, 2 and 5–Miriam Ching Yoon Louie and her daughter Nguyen; Mai Doan and Rona Luo–actually produced and published their chapbooks in a span of one week bookended by a two-part workshop I led at Kearny Street Workshop on chapbook making.
Learn how you can add a favorite title to this list and receive my chapbook for free here. Please feel free to check in from time to time for new additions to the list I am compiling.
As a household, we have been all over the ease and efficiency of Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping on practically everything for the annual fee of $79. That’s $79 a year, or about $6.60 per month, so as not to find parking and fight the crowds to buy grain-free cat food or chlorine-free diapers while loading up the car with an infant in tow, invariably at a big box store like Costco or Target anyway (the latter of which does not presently exist within the city limits). The ease of delivery right to our door prevails over revving up our car at over $4 per gallon of gas, even where it’s still a rare transportation choice for our public-transit lifestyle. The annual fee includes free streaming of plenty of movies and TV shows, which, as an aside, prompted our household to defect from Netflix. Amazon, however, was built on book sales, so I was quick not even to question its ability to fulfill a recent order I had for several new baby board books in a Babylit series of Romeo & Juliet, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, and Alice in Wonderland, all by Jennifer Adams, that would be gifts for some special babies turning one. I was confident I’d have these in my hands within a matter of a few days, if not two days.
To my unpleasant surprise, Amazon revised it’s delivery date on several of the books, some reasons having to do with lack of current stock or its inability to ship these certain items in pre-order status on their actual release date. This left me scrambling to find these books locally. The interaction of technology, namely Google Shopping, which helps identify “nearby stores” that have your item, and the real bookstores themselves, with people who actually pick up the phone within three rings and then walk over to the actual shelf to check if a book that their database says is in stock indeed is, and then holds said books for you, saved me from showing up at the party empty-handed. WIN for the independent bookstore, which I confess I have always morally loved, but only irregularly financial supported. The detour the Amazon fail provided enabled me to discover a local shop that I’ve passed, but never walked into, Alexander Book Co., and one that used to be one of my neighborhood bookstores, Books Inc. in the Castro. I heartily thank both booksellers for being there this past week.
I am in a pile of copies, waxed linen thread and screenprinted covers of Handmade Rabbit Society (bunny-sized meditations on pregnancy, birth and parenthood), a hand-bound chapbook that is a product of a Cultural Equity Grant I received from the San Francisco Arts Commission. Part of the scope of the grant is a pay-it-forward component, where I make my own chapbooks and give them away if a reader will first buy the chap of an emerging writer or demonstrate that they have recently done so. I then log that title/author and where to obtain one on an online bibliography of new writers. I invite you, avid poem hunter, to help me fulfill the terms of my grant and participate in this project with me.
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT: Send me a note and two first-class postage stamps (more precisely, $0.65 U.S. postage) with the name of a self‐published or small-/micro- press poetry chapbook by title and author that you have purchased in the last 18 months. If you know it, please include the name of a bookstore or website where that author’s chapbook can be obtained. Email me directly for my snail mail address. You can mail me two stamps with the snail mail address I will provide you or, if you don’t have postage handy, I have a PayPal link here to fund the postage ($0.65 plus PayPal fees)–a copy of my chapbook will be mailed to you posthaste! Chapbook trades welcome too; please inquire if you are the author of a chapbook of poems and want to do a swap.