Chapbook is a nineteenth-century term derived from traveling peddlers known as chapmen who sold, among other items, booklets called chapbooks, many of which plagiarized summaries of published novels and stories.[ 4] Chapbooks no longer contain plagiarized text and are found almost entirely in the literary world. Many contemporary chapbooks are books of poetry, often publishing the work of emerging poets. Poets who have achieved success with larger publishers sometimes continue to publish in the chapbook form because they appreciate chapbooks as well as chapbook publishers, who epitomize independent, small presses. In higher education, creative writing faculty and students have long collected and read chapbooks.
Poetry broadsides are part of the world of activist, small press poetry. They tend to be larger in format, like art posters in many cases. Read a short blog post about broadsides from the Library of Congress.
The Mortola Pace Library in Pleasantville owns a book about the poetry broadside tradition, focusing on the 1960s. It can be requested through InterLibrary Loan (ILL) if you are at Pace NYC.
Sullivan, James D. On the Walls and in the Streets : American Poetry Broadsides from the 1960s. University of Illinois Press, 1997.