Chapbook Confessions

We’ve been thinking about the fate of poetry chapbooks, pamphlets and collections. For the author they are key, proud moments in their writing career, especially for those of us who toggle between duty, family, work, life and the will to write something meaningful and perhaps even useful, important.

For their readers and for the culture at large, the poems fritter away to what’s next: what’s next on their reading list, what’s next from the author. That’s our culture now, scrolling its way impatiently through more, so that a huge moment in a poet’s career is largely forgotten.

We’ve been thinking how to address this through Underfoot. So here’s what we are asking for:

We want to know about your previous chapbooks, pamphlets, collections. Send us a selection of no more than 10 poems from the chapbook, pamphlet, collection. Along with the poetry, submit an extended piece of prose on: 

The writing process: writing hours, late nights, early mornings, experiential moments that galvanized poems, anecdotes; the poems that wrote themselves (perhaps mysteriously), the poems that were as arduous as squeezing an infant out; important places (for writing and motivation); how long it took to get it published, your moments of despair and elation; narcotics that helped animate thoughts, people (animals, objects) who helped animate thoughts; what you tried to steer clear of technique-wise, style-wise, subject-wise, what motifs, subjects, themes, styles? And of course anything else at all that isn’t mentioned above. All this should relate to the poems you have submitted. 

We are looking for at least 1,000 – 3,000 words. In this section of Underfoot, your prose should be as important as the poetry. How you choose to present this is entirely up to you: an as essay separate from the poetry, or as commentary woven around and between the poems, etc.

Send these to We’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.