shadowbox library

Publications that would be more at home in a printer’s letter-case than a bookshelf (help me add to this list; sorry for initial oversights, this is off the top of my head):

big package tiny chaps (Rock Heals, Baltimore)
Dos Press (Austin)
dusie wee chaps (Dusie, Switzerland)
Foursquare (Outside Voices, VA)
Handsatzwerkstatt Fliegenkopf (München)
Hanuman Books (Madras/NYC thx KLG/SF)
Lilliput Review (Pittsburgh, thx EB)
Particle Series (LA, thx JT)
Poems-for-all (Sacramento, thx JC)
Tiny Books (Meritage Press, St. Helena)
Tiny Poems Press (CT)
tinysides (Big Game Books, D.C.)
YARD (Calgary)

Not to mention less widely available things like Ferrum Wheel 1/2s, Karissa Cove’s zine Crackers and Honey, zines in general, small works by Chris Fritton and Alix Bamford, etc.; less frequent small publications by small presses that generally publish larger books (Effing, Green Chair, No Press, The Pines); books that say they are tiny but are not; and more generally available miniature books from major presses (you know, the little books up by the cash register at Barnes and Noble).


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3 Responses to shadowbox library

  1. Steven Fama says:

    Hanuman books were published out of Madras and New York. I don’t think they publish anymore, but I’m not really sure.

    I enjoy 4SQ because it is hand made, combines different creative arts (writing, fabric, self-publishing), and typically has very interesting visuals and writing. The small size, true, is part of 4SQ’s “charm,” but just a part, and, to me, a small part.

    Books and publications are typically not made tiny for good reasons: the text quality is typically compromised, tiny books are a pain in the ass to store, and a pain to read too. Ashbery’s “Ice Storm” is a good example. In the Hanuman edition, the poem just dries out on the cramped tiny pages. It was a much better poem to me when I read it on far fewer (i.e., larger) pages in a more regular-sized book.

    The size of the City Lights Pocket Poets books is about as small as I think reasonable. If there is a trend to tiny and small, I don’t like it.

  2. Jessica Smith says:

    Personally, I prefer the small books. They fit in my purse and I can read them when I’m waiting in line. I have a large set of small drawers in which to house them, so storage is not a problem (another option is a file cabinet).

    But I think that one reason that the tiny format is working these days is that people write poems *for* the tiny spaces. The space of the page is being taken seriously, where in the middle part of the last century if you weren’t a concretist you probably didn’t heed the space of the page, but thought rather about breath, line breaks, and that musicality of form that is constantly pointed to as poetry’s essence.

    Almost all of the poems in 4SQ have been written for the 4×4″ space. Dos Press formats their books after they’ve received the poems; their first chapbook is small because the poems wanted it that way.

    I wrote “butterflies” for a 4.5″sq space… so Maureen’s tinysides series was the perfect place for that. There aren’t many options for publishing that; pages tend to be 5.5×8.5, 6×9, or 8.5×11.

    One problem with miniaturizing the book form may be that the poems become difficult for some people to read. Personally, I have no problem with that. I would like for poetry to be difficult to read on that very elementary, physical level.

  3. Steven Fama says:

    I have to concede that “Butterflies” is very cool (beautiful) just as it is.

    Anad also that writing written for something tiny is different than poetry (e.g., the Ashbery) crammed onto small pages.

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