Making a Poetry Chapbook by Maxine Brink

NCWA blog welcomes Maxine Brink!


Do you remember the first book you wrote, illustrated and read with pride to your parents? For my first story I used two typewriter sheets, folded them into halves and nested the pages together. For some reason I wanted a square book so cut off the bottom. I then had an eight-page book to write on and color.

Until Johannes Gutenberg invented a complete printing system in 1440, poets, philosophers and political hacks hand wrote on any available cloth or paper and distributed single sheets which came to be called Broadsides. Or they layered multiple papers which were called Chapbooks because they were cheap.

Digital printing has contributed to contemporary chapbook popularity. There are chapbook contests with award money. For example: Floating Bridge Press, The Burnside Review, the Omnidawn Poetry Contest, the Caketrain Competition and more. The folios can be easily mass produced and printed in any shape your creativity allows you to fold paper.

Bob Hudson, a Zondervan editor and poet, has designed Making a Poetry Chapbook to be read as an interesting, single production giving us the history and specifics of chapbooks.

 An added value to this chapbook is his suggestion that we read the book with an ordinary 8½ x 11-inch paper in hand and fold as we read. Each page of Making a Poetry Chapbook cleverly demonstrates as Bob’s descriptive prose in poetry format walks us through the layout of text in the multiple folios. For example,

It doesn’t have to open on the right.

It can open on the bottom or the top or the left.

Know the Rules to Break the Rules,

but break them as often as not. Be an iconoclast.

People may order “Making a Poetry Chapbook” by emailing Bob at or simply sending $7.00 to Bob at:

Bob Hudson

Perkipery Press

8405 Baileau Oaks Dr NE

Ada, MI 49031

Other titles available

Bugs: A Book of Insect Haiku

Palpable and Mute: A “Poetry Is…” Anthology

Listen: Poems on Prayer


Bob Hudson has been making little books since the third grade. He has written or co-written four books for Zondervan, where he has worked as an editor since 1984. He was founder and managing editor of Working POET, an online poetry magazine and email newsletter, which ran between 2000 and 2004. His poetry has appeared in the Seneca Review, The Mennonite, The Other Side, The Formalist, Good Foot and Mars Hill Review, among others.  His articles have appeared in Christianity Today, Godfly Online, The Lamp-Post, and other journals. Bob and his wife, Shelley have written two books together, Companions for the Soul and A Christian Writer’s Manual of Style.


Midwest born and educated at Calvin College and Western Michigan University, Maxine has worn many hats, from teaching to business, doing whatever was needed with her minister husband while raising three kids, and now senior care at their home, Adagio Adult Family Home. Her writing reflects her eclectic interests. Her blog,, explores themes of life’s transitions. She has been a member of NCWA since 2009.


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