Thursday, December 4, 2008


Chapbooks have many virtues. Generally they are short and therefore usually inexpensive. The shorter form also allows the writer to focus on a particular theme that perhaps would not lend itself to a full length book.

However, these virtues often make it very difficult for bookstores to display them. If they are staple bound they won't carry a spine making it difficult for customers to see them on a shelf.

Local Somerville publisher Cervena Barva Press publishes a series of poetry chapbooks and have recently released a new one by the wonderful Cambridge poet Kathleen Aguero. The new chapbook is titled Investigations: The Mystery of the Girl Sleuth. It's a cycle of poems featuring Nancy Drew, the fictional detective of the well-known children's series. If at first you don't see it faced out in our poetry section, make the effort to find it arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. It doesn't have a spine so you won't see the title or the author's name immediately just by glancing at the shelf! In fact, it will not appear on our website using the search function because of its pedigree, but please persevere. Aguero's collection also received mention in Jan Gardner's Sunday column, Shelf Life, on December 7.

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