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TapRoot Reviews

TapRoot Reviews is a quarterly publication providing access to literary alternatives: "experimental" / "avant garde" / "micropress" publications & zines of all stripes. The current issue, #9/10, gives capsule reviews of over 300 "otherstream" publications, as well as providing feature articles on a number of publishers and authors. A growing number of these publications and authors have material available on the web, as well as on paper; this webpage presents our capsule reviews of these publications, with direct links to their webbed counterparts. A (very) short essay was included in the paper, as an initial attempt at contextualing TRR's project and the Web; another critical perspective on some of the issues raised by the confluence of the Web and other modes of literary production can be found at, courtesy of Christopher Funkhouser.

TapRoot Reviews is edited by luigi-bob drake, with the help of a diverse community of poets & readers. We appreciate their support; we likewise appreciate support from the Ohio Arts Council, and the Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY Buffalo. TapRoot Reviews is published by Burning Press, a non-profit educational organization. You can contact us at Additional information about the TapRoot project can be found at the end of this page.

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Chapbooks/Individual Authors:

Michael Basinski | John M. Bennett | Janet Bernichon | Charles Bernstein | Michael Estabrook | Jessica Freeman | Robert W. Howington | Jim Leftwich | Sheila Murphy | Jerome Rothenberg | Bill Shields/Tony Bledsoe | Cheryl Townsend | Mark Wallace


Chapbooks/Individual Authors:

All of the preceding reviews originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #9/10, along with the following short essay by way of context:


Richard Brautigan has a story someplace about a library where anyone can walk in and put a book s/he wrote on the shelf... a whole collection of handmade treasures, open to anybody--kind of a sweet metaphor for the micropress world. Jorge Borges' "Library of Babel" holds a considerably darker vision: a near-endless collection of books containing every possible permutation of letters, the ultimate monkey-at-a-typewriter. Of course, someplace in all that randomness is a complete set of Shakespeare's sonnet's, somewhere else is a cure for cancer... and somewhere else is that same cure, with arsenic substituted for one key ingredient.

As the World Wide Web continues to expand, the promise of Brautigan's earlier optimistic vision sometimes seems to shift towards Borges' pessimism--especially if you've spent fruitless hours searching for some bit of information that has to be out there in cyberspace somewhere. The antidote to that impersonal technologic nightmare is of course a sense of community among individuals--the same sense of community that is the necessary underpinning of the utopian open library. Hardware can facilitate communication, but community still happens only among "meatware." As users find friends & colleagues online, exchange resources & URLs, point to material they've found and post their own work, this mass of data begins to become humanely useful, more than just an infoglut of bytes & sites.

That vision of community and connection is, at its core, what the micropress world (and TapRoot) is all about. Our goal is to facilitate the growth and interconnectedness of those communities, by any means necessary. We continue to be committed to broad access to a wide variety of materials in any available media, and we'll be interested to see what kinds of effects the medium has on the message. Keep us posted about your latest online work, and keep on connecting with people, not just machines.--lbd

more about TapRoot Reviews...

TapRoot Reviews is available in several formats. The most complete version is our regular paper magazine--subscriptions are $10.00/four issues, available from Burning Press, PO Box 585, Lakewood OH 44107. A free email version contains only the short capsule reviews, without the longer feature articles and appearing one issue behind the paper--subscriptions are free for the asking by sending a short human-language message to the editor at; back-issues are archived at Finally, an indexed cumulative collection of the capsule reviews is under construction for the web--the initial installation can be found at We really do expect to complete the formatting of all the reviews from issues 1 - 8 Real Soon Now. Feedback is welcome.

page updated 8/6/96
by luigi-bob drake, editor.