Though I’ve been collecting chapbooks for years from poets around the world, I had no idea about the fascinating history of chapbooks when the exhibition Efficiency, Excess, and Ephemerality opened last month. The exhibition closed last week, but I documented the covers of the books as they were displayed in the gallery in this slide show accompanied by a shortened version of Yankelevich’s lecture about the history of the chapbook and its trajectory from cheap trade publication in the 15th Century to gift object and poetry calling card in the 21st Century.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Matvei Yankelevich is a member of the Ugly Duckling Presse publishing collective, which published my book Uselysses last December; my wife, Marina Eckler, worked on this chapbook show; and we contributed some chapbooks to this exhibition at Yankelevich’s request.

 

One Response to A Chapbook Primer

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    LOVELY, and I love the idea of a ‘gift economy.’

News

Getty Images
September 30, 2016 | NPR · The 63-year-old Libertarian presidential nominee has run 17 marathons and four Ironman Triathlons. He doesn’t drink or smoke cigarettes, though his doctor doesn’t address his past marijuana use.
 

AFP/Getty Images
September 30, 2016 | NPR · As news of the closing rippled far beyond the deli’s home turf in Manhattan Friday, hundreds of people responded with sadness and disbelief.
 

AFP/Getty Images
September 30, 2016 | WWNO · The new maps mean flood insurance for these areas is optional. But with half the city at or below sea level and memories of post-Hurricane Katrina flooding, some worry they send the wrong message.
 

Arts & Life

September 30, 2016 | NPR · Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
 

Courtesy of Lionsgate
September 30, 2016 | NPR · Deepwater Horizon is the tense and terse story of the Gulf oil rig explosion that became the biggest man-made ecological disaster in history.
 

Copyright Ellen Silverman
September 30, 2016 | NPR · Matzo ball soup is a classic straight from Eastern Europe. But not all Jews from the region came to the New World via Ellis Island, as this jalapeño-inflected recipe reflects.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 30, 2016 | NPR · The award-winning conductor, pianist and composer performs “Fascinating Rhythm” and other standards with Marian McPartland.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 30, 2016 | NPR · 22, A Million is a radical — but logical — departure from Justin Vernon’s past work. Music critic Will Hermes thinks it’s the most compelling record he’s heard all year.
 

Getty Images
September 30, 2016 | NPR · In times of drought — like now — two neighboring states argue over rights to the Cauvery River’s water. A musician wrote a song about what the river thinks of all this.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab