Ah, the Word Salad, our favourite kind of salad.
So, the other day I was putting together a CV, as one does every now and then, and because this particular CV is focused on design and creativity, I put in that I make chapbooks once a month as part of Stanzas. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that. Until someone asks, What’s a chapbook?
For us, this question has been four years in the making, and we’re still figuring it out month to month. But mostly: it’s printed, it’s low-volume, it’s one-of-a-kind, and it features art, writing, or some combination thereof.
When we first started, these were A6, home-printed, badly spliced together off-cut barely-books that we made and sold at the third ever event because we wanted to make a bit of dosh. That first event, back in September 2014, was a great one, and people loved the books. Inside, we four stanzas grandaddies, each wrote a few pieces, and I think we made a tenner each on the proceeds. A night of heavy drinking ensued, bellied by the tenners.
But then we opened it up, we asked you guys for your words, and we put that money back in to getting bigger and better guests, to putting on festivals, to making more books, and CDs, and posters, and badges & & & …
For us, the monthly chapbooks are a way to see what’s out there: and there is so much out there! It’s also how we stay afloat while we wait for some rich uncle to come along and make our dreams come true. But most importantly, it’s a way for you guys to see your work in print – even sometimes in poorly home-printed off-cut barely-books.
There’s something succinct about ink and paper. Something definite and concrete. The chapbooks aren’t just a bit of fun, they’re an opportunity. And, if nothing else, they very occasionally help to buy pints. And that’s gotta be worth fighting for.
This blog post was written by Shane ‘McThirsty’ Vaughan. If you have something to say and nowhere to say it, why not get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org