there’s an intimacy that’s activated [or visibilized] when making books by hand together. there’s a warmth and a joy in that relationship … to the text, to the author, to your co-makers, to the book itself. we believe it’s worth our time to attend to that warmth and joy.
At CWP we hand-make our chapbooks and own the means of production. We do not outsource our printing. Each chapbook we publish is printed, folded, assembled, and stapled or sewn by us. We commission artwork from artists for book covers. Our primary goal is to keep the art of the chapbook alive in tandem with building community.
What does small press publishing need most? Apart from many wealthy benefactors, small presses need more (reasonably affordable) venues to generate visibility for themselves and their authors. AWP, SPD, and bookstores are all great (most of the time), but their cost and cuts are often large enough that presses like ours can’t afford to take advantage of them. We could really use a soulful Amazon that doesn’t take 40% of the book price, which is sometimes the entire profit margin of our books. While small presses are trying to globalize the voices we represent, we also need a more localized book economy, including more readings and independent literary conferences, especially as AWP becomes more inaccessible and hostile to organizations and people who aren’t already in power in the lit world. We see small presses as a destabilizing and disruptive force, maybe even socialist in a way, and we would like to see that becoming more visible.