Last Saturday night we welcomed a talented trio of writers to the Malvern stage to celebrate the launch of a wonderful Old Green novel. First up was author Susan Schorn, who read from a thriller-in-progress. Susan is a self-defense instructor, black belt, and memoirist—and she also writes “Bitchslap,” a kick-ass McSweeney’s column about women and fighting.
Next we heard from Paige Britt. Earlier this year Paige released a children’s book, The Lost Track of Time, but on this occasion she was introducing us all to a lyrical, philosophical postapocalyptic sci-fi romance set 4000 years in the future, aka the evening’s laudable launch, Old Green World by Jason Craft.
And then we welcomed the man of the hour, Jason Craft / Walter Basho. In case you’re a little confused, Basho is the pseudonym Craft chose when he first self-published Old Green World, as there is already a Jason Craft writing sci-fi; however, he has since decided to use his own name—and explore his options vis-à-vis traditional publishing—so capturing this appearance from “Mr. Basho” was quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Jason/Walter very kindly encouraged the audience to purchase some of the lovely titles on our shelves, and then treated us to a little more from Old Green World…
We’re rather fond of Ugly Duckling Presse, a publishing collective run out of an old can factory in the heart of industrial Brooklyn. In fact, we’re one of their Partner Bookstores, which means we have a standing order to receive every new book they release. And this month we were delighted to get our mitts on the handsome Ugly trio you see below…
The Green Ray by Corina Copp — the first full-length collection of poems from Copp, a writer and theatre artist based in New York. Arava Review described Copp’s poetry as “a beautiful racket” and “a strange waterfall interruptive soundtrack,” which sounds pretty darn intriguing.
Costume en Face by Tatsumi Hijikata — Hijikata (1928-1986) was a Japanese choreographer and the founder of Butoh, a radical form of dance performance art. Costume en Face is the first publication of one of his notebooks; it contains fascinating notations concerning the art of Butoh, as transcribed by Hijikata’s “disciples.”
Alien Abduction by Lewis Warsh — Warsh has been a major figure in contemporary American poetry for over forty years, and this extraordinary new collection, his first full-length volume since 2008, will only enhance his reputation as a poetry icon.
We decided to get July off to a well-rounded start by spending an evening with the multi-talented poet and visual artist David Thornberry. Observant Malvernites may remember spying his art on our walls; this time around we were celebrating the launch of his new poetry collection, Climb Down, every copy of which has a hand-painted, original cover featuring David’s artwork. Watch the second video below for an explanation of the book’s title (at around the 12-minute mark); it’s a wonderful metaphor taken from a rather terrifying mountain climbing incident.
Joining David on our stage was another Malvern fave, W. Joe Hoppe, host of the Poetry Corner reading series (returning in the Fall). On this occasion, W. Joe was sharing some of his own work, including a fantastic poem about Michael Collins, who piloted the Apollo 11 command module alone (“he circled like a film noir taxi / keeping the motor running for the getaway”), while crew members Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin gallivanted on the moon for the better part of a day.
Check out the footage below to enjoy some brilliant poetry—and then come to our Novel Night on Thursday to round out your literary calendar with some smashing prose!
Last Friday night we were thrilled to host the inaugural event in our I Scream Social series. Hosted by our very own Annar and Schandra, I Scream Social is a warm and welcoming summer reading series that celebrates young women poets—and ice cream! Check out the footage below from our first-ever Scream… and if you agree that audacious poetry and delicious desserts make for a winning combination, be sure to come along to the next sweet Social on Friday, July 24th. (Also worth noting: each Social features an open mic section, so all young women poets are encouraged to bring along some verse to share. It doesn’t matter if it’s silly or serious, polished or in-progress… we’ll reward you with ice cream regardless!)
Our first reader was Alana Torrez, a “former spy” turned poet extraordinaire.
Next up was Shelby Newsom, who’s entering her second year in the MFA program at Texas State, and who is very much Team Mint Chocolate Chip (me too!)
And our third featured reader was award-winning Ohioan poet Maggie Ilersich, who bravely confessed to a love of home improvement television.
The final portion of the evening was the open mic—hearty thanks to Allyssa Milan (first video) and Allyson Whipple (second) for sharing their wonderful work with us!