Small press handmade books and/or chapbooks are often designed and produced in cooperation with the poets who wrote the words to fill them, or by the poets themselves. Poetry is a personal and often emotional genre, therefore the pages it adorns should compliment each poet's distinctive style. Although writing and performing poetry are great joys for the poet, in non-native environments (open mics, festivals, guest readings) actually holding and reading the words of a poem on a page is another experience altogether. In addition to the tactile object, a book gives one the opportunity to reread the words, to inhale more than the melody of a foreign language, to catch what may have been acoustically indefinable, and to delve into the depths of the writers words. In this context a single written, or printed page (e.g. the broadside) is a book of sorts. We can distinguish among the chapbook, a paper covered pamphlet, soft- or hard-covered book blocks bound in any number of styles, and beyond these boundaries we enter the realm of the artist books that can be just about anything at all.

2008 Design & Layout

Out of the Aviary Labyrinth

Poems: Karin Kaminker
Artwork: Anatoli Bourykine

Cover text: Out of the Aviary is an exploration in poetic form for all those whose lives have been touched by birds. Most of the poems in this collection benefit from being lifted off the page, supported with visuals, instruments or physical movement, declaimed or sung. Many of them have already been set to music, danced, interpreted in film and projections, performed on stage (some as multi-voice pieces, using various choral techniques) and/or recorded on CD.

2007 Design & Layout

for carlota rokita Labyrinth Chapbooks

Poems: Peter Waugh, Suzanne Toth, Victoria Slavuski, Ka Ruhdorfer, Felix Mendelson, Heidelinde Lindorfer, Hillary Keel, Karin Kaminker, Nathan Horowitz, Evelyn Holloway, Bob Hewis (†), Homade Gorden Banks, Maria Elena Blanko, Tony H. Fisher, Mike Austin (†), and Jean Almeida

This labyrinth chapbook was created as a personal gift for Carlota on her 70th birthday. It is also a little thank you from the featured poets for her poetry, fourteen years as treasurer of Labyrinth (Association of English-Language Poets in Vienna), and for the productive collaborations of past years and in anticipation of those to come.

2006 Design & Layout

Spun Glass Ship Penny Muse Press

Poems: Carlota Rokita Paintings and Drawings: Vera Montana