11 January 2005

Republic Readings chapbook n.9 (post 1)

'Republic Readings 9' is part of a series of chapbooks published in Tasmania. It's remiss of me not to have written about it here before and this is a preliminary response mainly to emphasise that the chapbooks are available.

'Republic Readings 9', like its predecessor n.8, is guest edited by poet Peter Macrow. Peter shows here his talent and flair for editing poetry in what are in effect mini-anthologies.

Series editor Liz Winfield received deserved praise for her stewardship of the series in last weekend's Sunday Tasmanian, in Christopher Bantick's column. It is often the editor's fate to be overlooked in book reviews -- and so too here in these two most recent chapbooks, excellently edited by Peter Macrow. Many of the poems in these recent selections were not in fact aired at the Republic Bar as the newspaper review implied (I guess it is a point of confusion that the readings at the Republic Bar and Cafe, the chapbook series 'Republic Readings', and the poetry broadsheet, 'The Poets' Republic', all have a word or two in common.)

Hopefully as time goes by the distinctive flavour of the chapbook series will make itself felt. It certainly is one vehicle for Tasmanian poets (and others) to have their voices heard.

Earlier I had written that my own small press would continue the 'Republic Readings' series of chapbooks "as no other publisher seemed keen on picking up the series once Ralph had decided not to continue publishing them". Good news: I have now been reliably informed that this is in fact not the case, says series editor Liz Winfield. Thank goodness for that, because I have too much to do and was only offering to help to prevent the series from folding.

The chapbooks cost $4. They are on sale at some of the best of Hobart's bookshops (Hobart bookshop, Sandy Bay newsagency and I think also at Fullers). On the first Sunday of each month the chapbooks will be on sale at the Republic Bar and Cafe, home of the poetry readings that have leant their name to this chapbook series.

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