|About Chapiteau and Chapbooks
Chapiteau is a French word for the tents used by traveling circuses and theater troupes. Chapiteau Press was founded by Ann Aspell and Jim Schley in 1999 to present sequences of poems in typographically beautiful settings; and in collaboration with performers, composers, and visual artists, to give audiences dynamic new experiences of poetry.
The more concentrated form of a chapbook allows both writer and reader a chance to enjoy the distinct music of the work and to appreciate the ways in which the parts amplify the whole. Our aim is to introduce new poets to a wide readership, as well as to offer a venue for better-known authors to be heard between books.
The term chapbook was first used in the nineteenth century to describe the small pamphlets, popular literature, and ballads sold by itinerant peddlers known as “chapmen.” The word derives from the Old English word for barter.
“Chapmen, able to spread more pamphlets…