Small Press Points: Bloof Books

From the November/December 2021 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

Tiny by design” is how publisher Shanna Compton describes Bloof Books, a press known for its beautiful linocut chapbook covers, eclectic tastes, and investment in each of its writers. “I’ve found a direct, hands-on collaboration with poets is where I find the most satisfaction in publishing,” says Compton, who also acts as the press’s editor and cover designer. Compton started Bloof in 2007 after stints at larger publishers in New York City and savors the more intimate process the smaller press model allows. “We do both widely distributed paperbacks and handmade chapbooks in limited editions, in a way we hope honors authors’ visions and cultivates connection and community among our readers,” Compton says. “Maxing out with too many books a year, or from a cubicle in a midtown high-rise, just didn’t feel like enough.”

The press, which this summer relocated from Lambertville, New Jersey, to Blue Hill, Maine, releases two or three paperbacks as well as six handmade chapbook titles annually. Bloof publishes only poetry but considers the genre expansively: “We’ve published two books of experimental sonnets, a huge conceptual list poem, and some post-Flarf, as well as a varied range of gorgeous, hilarious, and downright creepy work,” says Compton. Titles to be released in 2021 include On Dreams, a book of lyric essays by Maureen Thorson. In October and November of this year, the press will hold a free reading period to consider submissions for its 2022 chapbooks. “I can never predict what we’ll choose, and we always want more than we can take,” says Compton, “but we are very excited to attract a diverse pool in terms of identity and style and to see collaborations and translated poetry in the mix as well.”