Below is an excerpt from Laura Miller's fun article on sending chapbooks instead of greeting cards this year. Of course, we embrace this idea! She suggests some of our smaller chaps as they will put you back almost as much as hallmark would!
If you really want to send a memorable and thought-provoking greeting this year, put down the ennui-inducing Hallmark card. No, seriously, put it down and take a step backwards. Embrace the literary chapbook instead. Usually handmade and always insightful, small press chapbooks cost little more than greeting card — and will a way more welcome. Trust me.
The first time I encountered a well-made chapbook, I didn’t know the chapbook’s long legacy (peddled by European chapmen in the 16th century) or its current revival among small poetry presses (which I encountered last year at AWP’s massively epic bookfair). I was at a book-release party at Club Congress in Tucson, where, to my right, a punk band yowled on stage as a few indifferent patrons stood motionless on the dance floor. To my left, the editors of Spork Press sat in a red, patent leather corner booth, puffing on cigars as they exchanged handmade chapbooks for cash.
Holding my first chapbook in my hands, its beauty totally floored me — its letter-pressed cover; its hand-bound pages; its custom illustrations; its compact size. That night, as drums blasted and cigar smoke wafted, chapbooks and punk rock fused in my mind. And I still think chapbooks are totally punk rock. They’re independent, experimental, effusive, profitless, and kinda hardcore.