Review: A Double Dose of Dink Press’s Chapbook Series

I was recently introduced to Dink Press–one of those small, enthusiastic, chapbook/zine/magazine publishers which crop up as safe havens for writers and artists, but which are statistically in danger of closing their doors after a few years. I love their mission and what their founding editor, Kristopher D. Taylor, is attempting to pull off, so I’m going to start this review with a few ways to get involved with Dink Press if you like what you read.

1) You can submit. Right now you can submit to DINK MAG, the Centipede Haiku Anthology or you can submit your chapbook/zine.

As the managing editor if cahoodaloodaling (shameless plug), I have a soft spot for places which publish hybrid/eclectic/and niche work. Dink Press is incredibly inclusive and accepts submissions of:

  • Poetry
  • Short Fiction/Non-Fiction/Essay
  • Photography/Art
  • Drama/Screenplays
  • Lyrics
  • & Hybrids

2) You can get on staff and help out. Yup, that’s right, Dink Press just posted a Help Wanted on their website. Here are the deets:

If you are interested in helping out, send me an email at Basically all you’d need to do is help answer submissions and help edit/format MS’s. This is, unfortunately, an unpaid position. You will, however receive 3 copies of everything we publish in print.

Please use “Help Wanted” as the subject line of your email. Include in the body of the email some relevant experience, a list of some of your favorite poets, artists, and photographers, and (if you are a poet, artist, or photographer) include a sample of your work, so I can evaluate your artistic tastes. Other requirements include access to the internet and Microsoft Word.

3) You can donate.

And of course, you can read and spread the word.

A Condensation of Maps- Roberto Carcache FloresA Condensation of Maps

by Roberto Carcache Flores
Dink Press Chapbook Series #1 (March, 2015)
35 Pages, Poetry
$1 Download Here

This is first collection by young poet Roberto Carache Flores. Smartly placed, Flores’s first poem, “Leaving Perquín,” sets the tone of A Condensation of Maps by placing us in his home country, El Salvador, and the chapbook’s wistful mindset.

His youthful enthusiasm, often extremely apparent, is quite charming. Likewise, the visceral undertones of the coming-of-age apparent in his work are well played. In poems such as “The Needle Tip,” where many young poets would haphazardly knit metaphors, Flores’s metaphors are well stitched and help to heighten the lyricism of his free-verse rather than obscure his meanings.

While it is a solid collection, A Condensation of Maps is perhaps a bit limited in scope. I feel it would appeal most to those who’ve just completed their secondary schooling or are in their undergrad at college; who are beginning to learn the difference between loving and loving well; and who are hungry for travel.

The only borders
we should cross
lie across
the eyes
of two
even as
we travel
on this bus,
your head on my shoulder.

From “Borders Left Behind”

As the series editor Kristopher D. Taylor points out in his introduction, “every poet has room to grow,” and while true in this case, A Condensation of Maps marks Flores as an emerging, not amateur, poet. Keep your eye on him here.

Room Studies- Brennan Burnside Room Studies

by Brennan Burnside
Dink Press Chapbook Series #4 (April, 2015)
26 Pages, Poetry

Burnside’s Room Studies, which will be available for download April 26th, is astutely titled: each poem studies a room, from “Amy Winehouse’s Panic Room” to “Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Bedroom”. Individually, most of these poems are heavy hitters; however, as a collection, the repetition of form and strangeness of subject matter works well. black
Penske hockey sticks in south east corner of room, crumpled
Fritos bag, doorknob turns, black scuff marks on the east wall,
3' from floor, rapid knocking sound.

From “Sandy Hook Elementary School Storage Closet, 9:35 am, 12/14/2012”

While mostly detailed speculations of rooms in which tragedy struck or hoveredand made the newsa handful of poems are less grave; “Ron Jeremy’s Hotel Room” and “Micky Rouke’s Kitchen” were surprising but delightful additions.

A quick read, Burnside’s voyeuristic and imaginative chapbook is best suited for pop-culture enthusiasts and readers who prefer a themed text. Frankly, Room Studies is not for those who do not enjoy detailed lists.

Can’t get enough of these room studies? There are more to read on Burnside’s tumblr.

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