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Monday, April 02, 2007

Chapbook Contests

I'm thinking of entering a few chapbook contests. I've done some online research (look at her!) and I've come up with a handful of contests that seem promising:

Cranky
SLAPERING HOL PRESS
Elixir Press
Diagram
Camber Press

I've never put together a chapbook mss together. I can't just yank out a section from my collection. Hmm. But I could pull out (the rhythm method?) the ekphrastic pieces and the persona poems and organize a chapbook mss. That might work.

We'll see.

Update:
I just found this interview on Blackbird with three chapbook authors. Here's some choice tidbits from the interview:

Cecily Parks: ...I think the chapbook length is ideal in terms of being able to work on maybe one set of themes or maybe on one narrative thread in a concise way without exhausting any of those themes or threads. I found that I was able to really narrow my focus without getting redundant. So in that way I felt like the chapbook was ideal.

Dan Albergotti: ...in my latest revision of the full-length manuscript, the poem that leads the chapbook concludes the full length. It wasn’t by design, really, and I wasn’t really thinking about it. I stepped away and said, “Oh, that’s my lead off poem in the other.” And yet, I think it’s telling that that poem is not buried in the middle or something, that it is an ender, it maybe is some kind of, I don’t know, psychic endorsement of placement; it needs to be either the first or the last. The structure of the full length is kind of liturgical. I have these repeating patterns of things where you might see scripture readings and hymns in a Protestant ceremony or something and that’s not, that’s absolutely not, playing any role in the chapbook’s organization, so naturally there are changes.

5 comments:

Diana Marie Delgado said...

It's really funny, the chapbook pubs pay the same or more for the chaps, versus a 50-70 page manuscript, that gets about the same.

C. Parks is a great writer and Columbia friend...

Sandra said...

That's a good interview at Blackbird; the full length MS that Dan refers to just won the Poulin Prize from BOA.

poet with a day job said...

I also want to push the Sow's Ear Review Chapbook Competition - I won that one a few years back and they were absolutely terrific to work with. Their favorite part was writing me the check!No joke, I had it in a week.

Another one I think is totally awesome is the Center for the Book Chapbook Contest (CFB New York).

jeannine said...

I'm excited you're working on a chapbook. They would be fools to not publish you. Fools, I say!

Justin Evans said...

This is all strange.

I may come off as a bit clunky, but when I read these interviews a while back, I got the distinct feeling the interviewer was treating the poets' decision to write a chapbook as semi or sub-heroic--- as if these particular writers were sacrificing something of themselves to stoop to the level of a chapbook.

I just can't see the chapbook like that. I have written three of them and two have been published. Maybe I am just being a bit sensitive or defensive, but I can't see what the big deal is. I wrote my chapbooks because that's how i invisioned the poems after I discovered I was writing poems with a similar theme.

I have ended up with chapbook manuscripts from a totally organic process and having set out to write a chapbook. Neither has any superiority over the other, and neither path has me feeling as if I should be praised for my decision to write chapbooks.

I know I am all over the place with this response, but I just don't sit well with people looking at the chapbook as a courageous decision---it is simply a medium which should be at the disposal of the poet.

Sorry for sounding like an idiot, not being able to make myself totally clear.