Autumnal Action At Malvern Books

Fall is on its way (thank goodness), bringing with it that lovely back-to-school feeling of new beginnings—and a packed-to-the rafters Events Calendar! Here’s a recap of three very eventful days…

On Friday we hosted something rather special: poet and scholar Wendy Barker joined us to discuss Emily Dickinson’s use of metaphor to challenge nineteenth-century restrictions on women. Her talk was part of “The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson,” a series of events based around a wonderful recital by the Conspirare virtuoso choir. Wendy’s talk was fascinating, and I enjoyed hearing about how she came to love a writer whose poems she’d once viewed as “silly little things.” (Check out our YouTube channel for extra footage from Wendy’s talk, including an audience Q & A.)

The weekend continued in fine style on Saturday night with a talented trifecta of young poets: our old pal Tyler Gobble, plus Ben Kopel and Emily Bludworth de Barrios, who shared some poems from her brilliant first collection, Splendor.

And last but not least, we rounded out a happily hectic few days with a Sunday afternoon reading featuring three acclaimed poets: Taisia Kitaiskaia, Kurt Heinzelman, and Fani Papageorgiou. If you want to meet a Harp Queen and hear some Not So Ill poems, check out the footage below…

The Birthday Bash at Malvern Books

CakeMalvern Books turned one last week—and what better excuse for a three-day-long bookstore blowout? We assembled a charming cast of readers, artists, and musicians (and cake, of course), and got our HAPPY BIRTHDAY on in fine style. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the store to celebrate with us… we truly appreciate your enthusiasm and support! And for those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a little recap of our birthday extravaganza…

On Friday night, we hosted a showcase featuring readings from the students enrolled in UT Austin’s New Writers Project (and Malvernite Taylor Jacob Pate, himself a New Writers’ MFA candidate, acted as the showcase MC). Writers (below, left to right) Austin Rodenbiker, Adam Ortman, Kate Kelly, Adam Edelman and Noah Weisz shared their work with us—and left us feeling confident that the future of literature is in very talented hands! You can check out footage from some of their readings below:

MFA Students

Saturday evening saw us welcome to our stage (below, left to right) W. Joe Hoppe (host of W. Joe’s Poetry Corner, and a gifted poet); writer and artist Richard Sober (whose artwork is still on display around the store for a couple more days… so hurry on in!); acclaimed classical guitarist Tony Morris; and poet and translator Kurt Heinzelman (who is also the man responsible for teaching Dr. Joe—Malvern’s curmudegon-in-chief and the evening’s MC—to love poetry!)

Day Two

And on Sunday afternoon we rounded out our birthday celebrations with honky-tonk cabaret from TOPSY (band members Joy Beth, Brett Reeves, and Cephas Wozencraft pictured below left); a reading from historical anthropologist Dr. Fred McGhee (middle); and a screening of two short films from poet and film maker Richard Bailey (at right).

Day Three

Something Grand!

Party CatYes indeed, that glorious time is upon us: the Grand Opening of Malvern Books! We opened our doors softly six weeks ago, and now that we’ve mastered the tricky stuff—shushing politely and making the cash register go ping!—we’re ready to fling open those doors with ribbon-shredding abandon. And, such is our OMG WE’RE A BOOKSTORE!!! excitement, we decided that a one-day celebration just wouldn’t do… so we’ve arranged for y’all forty-eight hours of wanton literary festivities.

What’s the plan? Well, we indicated that there might be free cheese, and I think we can make good on that promise, and possibly include several other pleasant foodstuffs as well. There will also be beverages, music (did someone say… marching band?), and very special discounts on very special books. Most importantly, there will be readings! So, what are you waiting for? Get your sharpies out, pull that Goats in Trees calendar off the wall, and put a big ol’ GONE TO MALVERN through November 22nd and 23rd.

On Friday, November 22nd, we’ll be hosting a reading from poets Joshua Edwards and  Lynn Xu. Joshua and Lynn are currently on a 650-mile walk across Texas, from Galveston to Marfa, and will stop in at Malvern to give their aching feet a rest, share their adventures, and read from their new collections. Joining them is acclaimed poet and translator Kurt Heinzelman, an English Professor at UT Austin and the editor-at-large for Bat City Review. Kurt will be reading from his hot-off-the-press collection, Intimacies & Other Devices.

But wait! There’s more! The following night, Saturday, November 23rd, Malvern will play host to a trio of irreverent poets: Matt Hart, Taylor Jacob Pate, and Tyler Gobble. Matt is the co-founder of the literary journal Forklift, Ohio and the author of five poetry collections, including the recent Debacle Debacle. Taylor is an MFA candidate in the New Writers Project at UT Austin, as well as the editor-in-chief of Smoking Glue Gun and the art director for Bat City Review. And Tyler Gobble is Malvern Books’ most impressively named staff member—and a poet to watch out for. His first collection, More Wreck More Wreck, will be out from Coconut Books in 2014.

On both nights, plan to stop by Malvern at 6.30pm for nibbles, browsing, and chitchat; the readings will begin around 7pm. And please do remember to invite all your chums… the more, the Malvernier!

Newsworthy #1

In which we provide you with assorted delightful snippets concerning upcoming excitements and recent additions to our shelves:

  • On Thursday, November 14th at 2pm, Malvern Books will be hosting a very special event: the Center for Survivors of Torture has arranged an informal roundtable discussion with Father Ubald Rugirangoga, a priest of the Diocese of Cyangugu in Southern Rwanda. Father Ubald lost eighty family members and 45,000 members of his congregation in the 1994 Rwandan genocide; he has since devoted his life to spreading a message of forgiveness and reconciliation. This discussion is open to the public, and we strongly encourage you all to come along. To learn more about the remarkable Father Ubald, check out this inspiring TEDx talk.
  • IntimaciesIf you like your poetry hot off the press, come in and pick up a copy of Kurt Heinzelman’s latest collection, Intimacies & Other Devices. A “hommage to the erotic in all its forms and manifestations,” Intimacies is imaginative, playful, rapturous, and, yes, a wee bit sexy. Highly recommended! (Also well worth checking out at Malvern: Demarcations, a bilingual French/English edition of poet Jean Follain’s masterful 1953 collection, featuring translations by Heinzelman.)
  • Have you checked out our splendid and quite sizable display of Green Integer titles? You really should! Edited by Per Bregne, Green Integer publishes a wide range of pocket-size books, including new works by leading contemporary artists, and overlooked fiction, poetry, and plays by some of history’s very best writers. So come on down to Malvern and get your Green on!

Green Integer