The artisan production of handmade books has is limitations and its allures for the poet. Compared to the potential for readership via the web or a trade book, audience is minimal. These books are made as unique objects or small editions, often regarded and valued as art objects over text, displayed in exhibition cases where typically they are opened to a single spread illustrating the graphic qualities of the book at the expense of what is, for the poet, a book’s primary activity: it is meant to be read.
          The diminished scale of readership is perhaps not too great a regret for the poet, whose realistic expectations in the realm of audience are not so large to begin with as those of artists in some other media. And since reading is a solo sport, the quality of the experience for the audience is in no way diminished by the size of the edition.
          In fact, the quality of the reading experience can be hugely enhanced by the visual, textural articulation of the handmade book itself, by its materiality. In an artist’s book, the elements that make up a book – the papers, structure, typography, illustrations, binding, etc. – are a part of the poetics. The reading possibilities are multiplied.

Dale Going, Livres de Poètes: Six poets talk about the books they make