Chapbooks for Change Project

The composition is the thing seen by every one living in the living they are doing, they are the composing of the composition that at the time they are living is the composition of the time in which they are living – Gertrude Stein, “Composition as Explanation.”

Chapbooks for Change invites student writers to examine intersectionality and intertextuality through research, writing, and publishing: words matter, how can words hold the space for change?  

In the 17th and 18th centuries, chapbooks were paper leaflets distributed to share everything from children’s stories and folk tales to political or religious views.  They delivered “information” to the masses – a transmitter of “popular” culture for the populous.  They created public spaces on the page.  Today, chapbooks are the “demo-tapes” or “first collections” of the poetry world – an introduction, extended, held, passed.  In a time of “alternative” facts, hash tags, and paid “fake” news, this project uses the chapbook to hold a space for contemplation, remediation, and investigation.  It creates a pocket of time to turn over – paper-page-hand-word – an invitation to sit with and sift through. 

Using the principles of gift economy, guerilla distribution, and eco-linguistics, writers have positioned copies of their chapbooks throughout the Bryant University Library.  This tactic is a response to the current conversation on borders, boundaries, migration, and immigration – how does the undocumented document move through/in/of/with?  What role does intertextuality play in the finding and reading of the text?  Coordinates are created at the intersection of the critical and the creative, the poetic and the political; a reorientation is possible.  Each chapbook has a QR code so that readers can “check in” or rather “check out” the text.  The reader is then encouraged to find a new public space for the chapbook: another place in the library, another library, a bench, a bus, a .  Readers will be able to track the travel – to see the trace – to watch the language, the information move. 

If you have found one of our chapbooks, check-in here: where are you; when are you?

Comments welcome. 

Anthology Update: Full Steam Ahead

dear reader.

The Precipice Collective is proud to announce the final line-up for our debut anthology, PRECIPICE: WRITING ON THE EDGE. After hungrily sifting through a combined 100+ submissions and solicitations, the editors have chosen 30 pieces that we feel best respond to the prompt outlined here.


How do we explore the edge in order to learn, to listen (sound in shift, an echo distilled)? How do we experience feedback—resonance and residue—as writers, researchers, beings? In what ways are we mediums, conduits, and transmitters for our environment? Can our writing be the medium, or is it always the translation? When we linger on the edge how does our presence shift the gradient? Do we pass the words or do the words pass through? How can the writer learn the membrane by embodying the edge? If words are energetic architectures inhabitable in the reading of a text, then can they be used to translate the language of a landscape? As bodies return to land, to carbon, how does breath-memory haunt? In exorcising place do we suspend space-time?


In alphabetical order, the featured authors, essayists, and poets are:

Bruce Barber
CA Conrad
Sandy Feinstein and Keysha Whitaker
Catherine Foulkrod
Brandon French
Lily Hoang
Jen Hofer
Katie Ingeneri
Violet Juno
Katherine Kaufman
Petra Kuppers
Caits Meissner
David James Miller
Laura Mullen
Stephanie Noll
Sheila Packa
Maryam Parhizkar
William Reichard
Patty Somlo
Anna Joy Springer
Ginger Teppner
Elsa Valmidiano
Matt Wedlock
Ronaldo Wilson

next steps.

As of today, we have finished laying out the manuscript and are actively seeking university and/or independent presses with whom to collaborate on the collection’s publication. While we’ve identified a significant number of presses that meet our needs, if anyone reading this blog owns a press or can make an introduction for us to a awesome press that you know of, we’d love to chat further. In all ways, Precipice is a community-driven enterprise, and we value every one of our readers, contributors, and collaborators.

reach out.

Did you want to submit but missed the deadline? Never fear—we’re not a one-trick pony! Precipice will return with a new call for submissions in 2018.

For now, drop us a line at or check out the titles available at Indiana University Press—one of our potential partners!

Jade, Jenna, Jess, + Kristen