being an annotated illustrated pamphlet of Common Sense

I think artist and activist is the same thing. As artist, you always have to be an activist. I think every art, if it’s relevant, is political. –Ai Weiwei, dissident Chinese artist

The intent of the work overall is to channel and champion the tradition of pamphleteering and chapbooks borrowing philosopher of aesthetics Susanne Langer’s sense of in a “new key.”

Nellie Pierce authored a special essay “A Living History of the Chapbook–and Beyond” for Political based on her earlier article “A Very Short History of the Chapbook” originally published as a Postgraduate Fellow in the blog of Middlebury College Library, Special Collections, home to many a chapbook.

“Howard Richard Debs’ chapbook Political is a modern-day potpourri of Americana, comprised of a collection of experimental work including prose poetry and a short script. His works explore modern America and Americans through lyricism, finding beauty in what can often seem hideous and always seeking to understand. In some ways reminiscent of Whitman, Debs seeks to uncover America’s poetic nature through our time of political strife and division.” –Emily Jo Scalzo, Assistant Teaching Professor, Ball State University, author of The Politics of Division, a 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Awards chapbook category honorable mention

Listen to Political The Podcast. Debs and Pierce explore chapbooks, pamphleteering, and all things Political.

Political is available in print and in a Kindle edition as well at Amazon, and as a special “Flipbook” which can be accessed here online.

“From the moment we open it, the book shatters expectations.”–from the review by Robbi Nester in Rhino Reviews. Read the full review here.

Political is the winner of the 2021 American Writing Awards in poetry.

Political is about what’s happening around us every day in terms of how people treat people and how that translates to our societal structures as well. Take a look inside…

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