07 October 2013

Das Gedicht chapbook

This month the Munich-based poetry magazine "Das Gedicht" is releasing an English-language chapbook of contemporary poetry from Germany, Austria and Switzerland in translation, called "German Poetry Now". So, what is a chapbook exactly? Historically, a chapman was a travelling pedlar and the chapbooks were cheap, popular pamphlets of ballads and tales, based on woodcuts. Today, contemporary chapbooks are predominantly paperback collections of poetry with small print runs, bound more like a magazine than a book, by little independent regional publishers. They tend not to be available in any other format, or as a download, in the way that books are, and are often linked to performance or poetry slams.