Introducing Ash Smith & Monofonus Press

Malvern Books said a fond farewell to February with two lively literary events. First up, we enjoyed another installment of W. Joe’s Poetry Corner. This month’s esteemed guest was Ash Smith, who began her poetry career in the eighth grade, selling romantic poems to friends who needed a little help in the love-note department! Check out the footage below to hear more about Pigeon of Tears, her writing process, and her lasting admiration for that “word pig” Walt Whitman…

And the following night we hosted a reading with the brilliant folks from Monofonus Press, an Austin-based record label and multimedia imprint. They were celebrating the release of Bad Jobs III, a new memoir from William Z. Saunders (part of a series in which he chronicles his misadventures in the workplace). William was joined on our stage by Karen Davidson, Morgan Coy, and Grant Cross. Morgan (who founded Monofonus) and Karen created the Shadow Healer graphic novel together, and Morgan directed the short movie that you’ll see in the first video below. Grant, meanwhile, shared mostly haiku (“I was going to read no haiku poetry tonight, I was going to take a big plunge, but I got to the edge of the pool and then I decided to put my clothes back on, and so I’m going to read mostly haiku…”)—plus a short poem called “Limp Old Testament.” It was a fun, eclectic reading, and I strongly encourage y’all to watch the clips below and then come by the store and check out our Monofonus Press offerings in person.

Mind Maze & Novel Night at Malvern Books

We have a couple of fantastic literary happenings to share with y’all! Last Wednesday the splendid Raw Paw crew returned to our stage for their fifth Mind Maze chapbook release. This month it was a brand-new title from Montsho Jarreau Thoth, who gave a moving, meditative reading. Montsho was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia around Christmas, and many of the poems in his chapbook were finished while he was in hospital undergoing treatment. (If you’d like to help support his speedy recovery, Raw Paw also has a benefit coming up.) Montsho was joined by spoken word poet Joe Brundidge (aka Element615) and Ash Smith (who will also be W. Joe’s guest for his next poetry corner), and the evening was ably hosted, as always, by Wade Martin and A.R Rogers.

And last Thursday we turned our attention to all things prose, with the second installment in our Novel Night series, featuring debut novelists Howard A. Schwartz and Ernie Wood. We also heard from Malvernite Schandra, who introduced us to The Passion According to G.H. by Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector (stay tuned till the end of Schandra’s talk to see how Ms. Lispector forms a puzzle). And our open mic-er, a middle-school teacher, read an excerpt that gave us an insightful account of eighth-grade life. Check out the footage below, and be sure to join us for next month’s Novel Night on March 12th.