“This book is the best reason to go out and buy anything with pockets—especially if you are a poet. Elegantly designed and printed, it is a portable prompt and expander of your repertoire of poetic forms.”
—Thomas Cable, author of A History of the English Language
A Pocket Book of Forms is a letterpress-printed, travel-sized guide to poetic forms. What began as a hand-written foldup minibook, created to help me remember the workings of poetic forms in my travels, is now a pocket-sized, pamphlet-stitched book. It was printed at Penland School of Crafts in winter 2013, using a combination of hand-set type and photopolymer plates. The finished book is in two editions, a fancy edition of 48 (with a cloth slipcase and faux-gold-leaf title) and a standard edition of 225.
The standard edition is available for sale below. It can also be purchased at these fine independent bookstores:
Pomegranate Books, Wilmington, NC
So & So Books, Raleigh, NC
The printing was finished during the early hours of February 14, 2013 (during which, around 3 a.m., the inestimable Rory Sparks and I applied the aforementioned faux gold leaf to the freshly printed, hot-pink title text of the fancy edition). Binding and trimming have been ongoing from late 2013 to the present. The book was available for preorder through April 15, 2014, at Indiegogo. Preordered copies were mailed in late May.
The fancy edition of A Pocket Book of Forms was selected for inclusion in BookOpolis 2014: Printmade Artist Books, the biannual exhibition of artist books at Asheville Bookworks. The exhibit runs from September 19 through November 30.
Thanks to the many people who helped in the making of the book, especially: Lesley Wheeler, Annie Finch, Carolyn Beard Whitlow, Erin Hammeke, Emma Skurnick, Dave Wofford, and Rory Sparks for guidance on content, book structures, design, and printing. Brian Hayes, whose March 2013 Computing Science column serendipitously alerted me to an omission in the text, which has now been corrected. My fellow winter residents in print and letterpress at Penland, whose cheer and encouragement helped the book. And special thanks to those who offered their pockets in service of ensuring that the final book is truly pocket sized. (With the exception of small, oddly shaped, decorative pockets, it is.)
The standard edition is available at three pricing levels. I’m indebted to Bread Uprising, a cooperative bakery, for its founders’ and members’ thinking about money, pricing, and the exchange of goods. A sliding scale, although not a perfect solution to the problem of exchange, allows people to pay what they feel best matches their resource level and their enthusiasm for the project. At the lower end of the scale, the price covers some of the cost of material, mailing, and studio rental for the book. At the upper end, it covers the materials, mailing, and studio rental, and offers support for future, similar projects.
A Pocket Book of Forms is available here for $12, $15, or $20, with $2 to be added during checkout for postage and packing. To order, select the PayPal payment option you prefer below—and don’t forget to choose which color you’d like. If you have questions about ordering, or if you’re interested in a copy of the fancy edition, you can contact me here.