The origin of Chapel Street Editions (CSE) goes back to a forty-year association with David Folster, a well-known New Brunswick writer and founding president of the St. John River Society. We shared a mutual interest in advancing the appreciation of the natural and cultural heritage of the St. John River Valley. We worked, for a time, on the idea of a regionally focused publishing project.

CSE has emerged from this history into the era of digital technology that now makes possible the kind of small-scale professional publishing we then had in mind. If David Folster were still with us, he would undoubtedly be an ally of this publishing initiative. In a real sense, he is.

In 1997, David Folster published an essay titled, I Am a St. John River Person in which he summed up his attachment to the landscape and to the cultural life of the region. Chapel Street Editions works with this same sense of place.

A vibrant cultural life rests on a strong attachment to place: this means a strong attachment to the land and all its communities of life, to the built environment, and to the ecological, social, and economic relationship of the settlements where we live.

The St. John River begins in the wilderness country of northern Maine and makes its way through the broad watershed region of western and central New Brunswick to the Bay of Fundy. The original people of the region called it Wolastoq – the bountiful river.

CSE is dedicated to publishing books that advance an appreciation of this natural region and the cultural life of its human settlements.


– Keith Helmuth, Woodstock, N.B.

Old train bridge on the Saint John River above Woodstock. Photo by Brendan Helmuth