Contents: 5 to 10+ finalized poems (at least 3 from this class; at least 5 you have written; clearly cite sources for any others!)
Typed: Published poems are single-spaced. Plain fonts are best. Only use fancy fonts in titles or title page, and don't sacrifice readability for cuteness. (Calligraphy acceptable if that is a skill of yours.)
Layout: No more than one poem per page (unless very short, like haiku, and/or related in some way.) Even if the chapbook is not illustrated, its visual qualities should be carefully chosen.
Order: The poems should be organized in a meaningful way; perhaps chronological, or from the inside out or the outside in, or any other method that adds to the meaning of the collection. A good rule of thumb is to start and end with your strongest poems.
Bound: The pages must all hold together like a book. Consider traditional forms such as looseleaf binder, presentation folder, comb binding, staples or binder clips, and other forms such as yarn, stitching, etc. NO slick plastic covers with strip bindings that fall off. Consider creative approaches that fit your theme!
Title: Give the collection an overall title that seems to tie all the pieces together. Consider using part of a favorite quote, words to live by, or a line from one of the included poems.
Dedication: This honors a chosen person, place, experience, or other entity.
Optional: Illustrations or illuminations. You may illustrate title page, any or all poems with hand drawn art, computer art, cut-outs, stamping, collages or other techniques. "Illuminations" refer to decorations on the letters of the manuscript itself, such as drop caps.
Author's statement: (This will be typed, double-spaced, separate from the chapbook.) Write about the collection as a whole, with a little about each individual poem. You might tell about your relationship to poetry, what inspired each poem, what slice of your work this collection represents, and so forth. Because this is a learning exercise, emphasize what skills you have worked on, what new approaches you tried, and what successes (or failures that you learned from) appear in the chapbook.
Presentation to class: You will show your chapbook to the class, and give highlights from your author's statement. Emphasize what you learned, tried, and achieved. Show illustrations. Read one poem from the portfolio with great feeling. (Be sure you've practiced!) Be prepared to hear questions and comments.