Required Reading: Chapbook Edition

Here are some truly delightful chapbooks that I’ve been carrying around town in my purse this month:

Parker’s Band by Seth Landman

I am loving this collection of poems that allude to the journey of the SS Seth Parker, a four-mast schooner that sailed around the Galapagos in the 1930s and was captained by a radio broadcaster. But mostly you get pure, unadulterated Seth Landman in poems that deal with themes of voyage, communication, and loss with heartfelt humor. “I’m making promises I can’t keep and it’s giving/ me a headache. In a fragment of conversation/ in a crowded room, girls are like the moon.” Published with either a yellow or oatmeal-colored cover by Laminated Cats, email Ben Kopel (laminatedcats@gmail.com) to buy a copy.

Building Castles in Spain, Getting Married by Amanda Nadelberg

Ben Estes (the bestes) recently launched Song Cave, a small press that publishes chapbooks of long poems. Here Amanda Nadelberg tells the story of an impending wedding through elegantly broken fragments. “Notice. I want to be a/ houswife. Before a window/ she can do anything, young lady,/ anything.” After enjoying the nicely-contained name poems in Isa the Truck Named Isadore, it’s great to see Nadelberg expand into a longer form of small vignettes that all float around the central axis of love and what it means to travel for and witness it. Buy it online here.

For the H in Ghost by Julia Cohen

This book is a perfect example of form complimenting content. Firstly, Cohen’s poems are haunting and gorgeous; she spaces them out on the page in a way that incorporates white-space into language. Secondly, Emily Goodale at Brave Men did a fantastic job designing and printing the book. I love that the cover illustration is a gray so-pale-it’s-almost-white letter press print that shifts with the light, complimenting the way in which Cohen’s words shiver all over the page. “somewhere I am a goldenchild/ where I speak for the poem/ now beat      back against what you made”. This is part-book, part-beautiful-little-object—you feel like you’re holding a ghost between your fingers. Order it online from Brave Men Press today.

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