What is a Chapbook?
A chapbook, sometimes called a pamphlet or zine, is a short handmade or independently published booklet, usually stapled or stitched in the centre. Chapbooks were popular methods of publishing outside of the strict constraints of a traditional publishing organisation, allowing indie groups or artists to share their voices with the world. Chapbooks and zines were typically popular during the punk era and later during the 90s grunge and Riot Gurrl eras, though they have been a popular mode for writers and poets to share their works since time immemorial.
I became fascinated with chapbooks (even digital ones!) and loved the idea of creating something so special and unique; a way to share a piece of you with the world uncensored, unrestrained, and without permission. Chapbooks create an opportunity where art becomes rebellion in a small, unassuming little book.
We Found A Shadow – Poems from a Hospital Bed by Ashleigh Condon
This is a very short chapbook of poetry examining my time spent in hospital in 2017, an experience which changed my life, and my outlook on it, forever. This chapbook is free to read and is currently only available in a digital copy, but if you’re a collector of chapbooks (as I am slowly becoming!) then you’re welcome to request a copy you can print yourself.
This chapbook is my first ever zine, with poems I worked on with nothing but love and careful, honest reflection in my heart. When you read them, you’re reading a piece of my soul, and peering into a time and place that changed everything for me. I felt reborn by my experiences in hospital and came away grateful, more than anything else, to be alive.