Little Books Collective Turns Two



(Photo: contributed)

Lunenburg is home to a unique publisher of “little” books. Sprouting from the Spot of Poetry group, which meets bi-weekly at the Lunenburg library, the Little Books Collective creates short books, or “chapbooks,” of original, local poetry and prose.

Little Books first launched in 2023. Twelve writers met throughout the year to share their work, offer collegial critique, design their books, and celebrate publication. The second round of publishing, with new and returning writers, begins this spring.

“The Little Books Collective focuses on collaboration in publishing, rather than competition,” says co-founder Berdene Owen. “It’s based on generosity rather than scarcity.”

Chapbooks date back to 16th-century Europe when printing and reading became more available to the working classes. Poetry, folktales, and essays were printed on a single sheet of paper, folded, and sold for a penny.

Community-based publishing, like the Little Books Collective, continues this long history of democratizing the publishing process.

Writer and printmaker Vanessa McKiel is returning to Little Books this year. “Grassroots publishing allows writers to focus more time on their work, less time trying to get the attention of big publishers,” she says. “Little Books has allowed me to showcase my work in formats that conventional publishing cannot.”

Funding from the South Shore Awesome Foundation has helped Little Books with printing costs and with workshops from established local poets, including Alice Burdick and Annick MacAskill. In these workshops, participants not only learn to improve their own work, but also how to give and receive feedback and improve the work of the collective.

As founding partner Logan Kennedy says, “Words are better when we share them—with each other in our small groups and with the community. With Little Books, we join together, answer to each other, and work towards something that is manifestly valuable.”

You can learn more about Little Books online at: spotofpoetry.com/little-books-collective/


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