dancing girl press

about the dancing girl press chabook series

One early spring day in March of 2004, I found myself standing over the zine and chapbook racks at Quimby's bookstore in Wicker Park, fingering the various permutations of handmade publications--from the intricate to the haphazard, the beautiful to the terrible. There, the idea of starting a chapbook series was born. I wanted to be able to publish the sort of work I thought needed a berth. To promote and propagate women's writing in particular, which in the small press world, still only accounts for less than a quarter of all published. I had started the online zine wicked alice in 2001 with merely an angelfire account and a dream-- a mission to provide an excellent forum for up and coming female writers. Going to print with that mission was a logical next step. One big stapler, a Word file, and some cardstock later, we had our first title. Then the next. Then the next.

The goal? To produce inexpensive, but still very stylish and beautiful, publications on a shoestring budget even if I had to assemble every single copy with my hands. To publish poets who were emerging in the morass of contemporary poetry, poets who fell through the cracks between the mainstream and avant-garde. Poets who wrote interesting and surprising work that varied from the mundane. Poets who employed hybridity and collage. Poets whose work was like nothing else.

I wanted to especially publish and promote the work of younger poets in my own generation. Also Chicago poets. Midwest poets. To publish projects that created their own worlds. Projects that were implicitly or explicitly feminist and women-centered. Projects that had an impact on readers both visceral and cerebral. To create lovely objects from paper, one of my biggest obsessions. To design interesting and gorgeous covers. To explore all the possibilities of what a "chapbook" can be.

Ten years later, we have produced over 300 titles and published some of the best emerging women writers in America & abroad. I invite you to purchase our chaps and support our authors. To read some of the most interesting and dynamic work being published by women today. Enjoy!

Kristy Bowen, Editor