The Chapbooks Are Coming

We don’t do things by halves here at Malvern Books! We’re already celebrating National Poetry Month with a very generous offer and a multitude of readings, but we decided to go for the Hurray Poetry! trifecta by adding something rather special to the Malvern mix: chapbooks. Yep, we’re soon going to be stocking a bunch of them.

Making chapbooks

Most of you are probably familiar with the wonderful world of chapbooks, but for the four of you who are picturing volumes of poetry encased in leather trouser-coverings: stop it, you weirdos. Chapbooks are just short books, generally no more than forty pages long—and they’re often very, very beautiful.

Poetry Society of America

Locket, Master

In the interests of bringing y’all the best of the very best, we decided to check out the wares at last week’s NYC/CUNY Chapbook Festival, which was held in a gloomy basement in midtown Manhattan. (All literary festivals must take place in basements: it’s the law.) There were a ton of small presses in attendance, and we were thrilled to take a peek at the offerings of some of our favorites, including Factory Hollow Press, Bloof Books, and Ugly Duckling Presse.

Theatre of the Cow

And we also made some lovely new discoveries, like Lost & Found, a publishing project of CUNY’s The Center for the Humanities. Their exquisite chapbooks feature all manner of rare and unpublished texts, from Adrienne Rich’s teaching materials to late work by Harlem Renaissance poet Helene Johnson.

Chapbook Misc.

Another chapbook champion? Ed Rayher of Swamp Press. Founded by Ed in 1976, Swamp Press produces limited edition letterpress books so beautiful they’ve found their way into the rare book collections of the Boston Public Library, the New York Public Library, Brown, Harvard, et al. And Ed really knows his stuff vis–à–vis printing techniques and equipment—if you ever want to discuss Benton Pantographs and Thompson Typecasters, well, Ed’s your man!

We left the fest with a groaning tote bag full of cards and brochures and a ridiculously long To Buy list. (You’re welcome to add to this list by emailing us with suggestions.) We can’t wait to make room on our shelves for a whole heap of chapbook goodness, and we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as they arrive!

The Night of the Smoking Glue Gun

National Poetry Month is upon us, and we decided to get our thirty days o’ verse off to an insanely generous start: we’re offering 20% off all poetry titles at Malvern Books this month! Another good way to kick off a month-long celebration of all things poetic? Hosting a reading with the lovely folks from Smoking Glue Gun! If you’re not familiar with Smoking Glue Gun, be sure to take a look at their awesome online poetry and arts magazine—and you might want to purchase a SGG chapbook or three, too. (Psst, we have some in stock and, yes, they’re available for 20% off, too.)

SGGThanks to everyone who came out last Friday to enjoy an evening of smokin’ literature with readers Taisia Kitaiskaia, Claire Bowman, Meg McKeon, and Scott Hammer (left to right, above). They were a stupendously talented quartet, and we very much look forward to hearing more from the Smoking Glue Gunners in the future. Do check out our footage from the event below. And if you feel inspired to fill the month ahead with a few more bookish escapades, well, you’re in luck—we have heaps of splendid stuff coming up, including an evening with poets Karen Kevorkian and Richard Bailey, and another Everything is Bigger shindig, hosted by the enchanting Tyler Gobble.

The Lion & The Pirate Unplugged

Saturday, March 29th, was Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day, and we celebrated in fine style with another awesome open mic, once again brought to us by VSA Texas and the Pen2Paper Creative Writing Contest (and with the help of a rowdy pirate and a watchful lion). As you can see, the performers had a (hair) flippin’ good time!



Pictured above are Sofia Jimenez, who had us all bopping in our seats with her tribute to One Direction, and Bear Beam, who introduced us to Oscar-the-drum. Our heartiest thanks to everyone who took part—your performances were, as always, a joy to watch, and we were delighted to have y’all strutting your stuff on the Malvern stage. You can check out more photos from the open mic on Facebook and watch footage from the event below. And if you’d like to take part in the next Malvern mic-tacular, be sure to keep an eye on our events calendar for all the details!