Chapbook Alchemy: An Interview

In “Chapbook Alchemy: No Dear/Small Anchor”, Sonia interviews Jen Hyde, Emily Brandt, and Alex Cuff about the magic of chapbooks and ND/SA’s latest release, One Day We Become Whites by Chialun Chang, for The Brooklyn Rail.

“Chapbooks are magic. For those who read them, for those who publish them, for those whose work lives in them—we know this to be true. How exactly to pinpoint that magic or break it down, well, that would be revealing the trick. But even if we could, chapbooks aren’t objects to be explained. They are objects to be enjoyed just as they are—exquisite and radical and ephemeral no matter how they manifest, and able to bring entire communities together in celebration of their particular success.

If this interview feels more like an reunion than a formal exercise, it’s because the participants have all inspired each other to perform this particular alchemy through their small independent presses at some point in the past, and continue to inspire each other as they collaborate and push the boundaries of how small presses and chapbooks can function within their particular communities. As Jen Hyde invited Sonia Farmer to collaborate on chapbook projects with her New York-based press, Small Anchor, Farmer went on to create her own small press, Poinciana Paper Press, when she returned to The Bahamas. Through frequent reunions in New York City, Jen invited Sonia to bind chapbooks with Emily Brandt at No, Dear, a journal featuring writing of New York City poets, which Emily runs with Alex Cuff. Soon enough, magic occurred: Small Anchor and No, Dear have come together to form ND/SA, whose latest offering, One Day We Become Whites by Taiwanese poet Chialun Chang, is a series of poems that, despite their quiet first impressions, provide devastating observations on cultural schizophrenia in the New York space….”

Read more here.

Categories: Article, Chapbooks, Writing

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