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…

Malvern Books’ Best of 2014: Poetry

Happy New Year, Malvernites! If you’re hoping to start 2015 with some stupendous verse, I suggest you take a look at the five books below—they’re our bestselling poetry titles for 2014 (in no particular order), and any one (or all!) of these lovelies would make a dazzling addition to the discerning poetry fiend’s bookshelf…

31 Poems by Dean Young (Forklift, Ohio; $12)

31 PoemsThe perfect introduction to the work of Dean Young, 31 Poems is both a brilliant collection and a beautiful object. (When it was first published, it appeared in the Best Collected category and the Best Physical Artifact category of Coldfront’s Year in Review.)

“Dean Young’s poems are as entertaining as a three-ring circus and as imaginative as a canvas by Hieronymus Bosch.” —American Academy of Arts and Letters

The Book of Joshua by Zachary Schomburg (Black Ocean; $19.95)

The Book of JoshuaA favorite of Taylor Jacob Pate, Zachary Schomburg writes associative, witty, logic-twisting poems that inhabit a surreal dreamscape.

The Book of Joshua … ultimately spins its own myths in a book that is built to feel symbolic, but isn’t really a straightforward metaphor for anything because, within the context of this world, these statements are literal. It’s not allegory but finely figured dream.” —Bill Neumire, Heavy Feather Review

Soul in Space by Noelle Kocot (Wave Books; $18)

Soul in SpaceSoul in Space is the sixth collection from the prolific and extraordinarily talented Kocot, who wowed the Malvern audience with her reading of “Poem for the End of Time.”

“Part riddle, part reverie, and part prayer, the brief lyric poems that compose Kocot’s collection inhabit a charged but quotidian space… Kocot arranges the ephemera of the everyday in relation to each other and to the self as though striking a minor chord.” —Publishers Weekly

Storm Toward Morning by Malachi Black (Copper Canyon Press; $17)

Storm Toward MorningWhen asked in an interview to give a one-sentence synopsis of this collection, Malachi summarized it by saying, “There is nothing more truly peculiar, confusing, and surprising than being entirely alive.”

“Formally exacting and creatively expansive, Black is an intensely inquisitive John Donne for the Millennial generation.” —Publishers Weekly

More Wreck More Wreck by Tyler Gobble (Coconut Books; $15)

More Wreck More WreckWe were delighted to launch More Wreck More Wreck (winner of the 2013 Cargill First Book Poetry Prize) at Malvern Books, and we were not the least bit surprised when it proved hugely popular!

“These poems aren’t just one thing, or another, they are instead stuffed with so much energy that they are spilling all over the pages … More Wreck More Wreck is bubbling with the absolutely kick ass beauty of a great imagination let loose.” —Peter Davis


More CakeOur Saturday night was more than all right—it was magnificent! Tyler Gobble, host of the Everything is Bigger reading series, launched his first poetry collection, MORE WRECK MORE WRECK, at Malvern Books, and we couldn’t be MORE PROUD! We’re big fans of Tyler (at right) and his smashing new book (and we’re not alone—MORE WRECK won the 2013 Cargill First Book Poetry Prize), so the launch was definitely a cake-worthy occasion. And when you add cake to a fantastic night of poetry and music and tank-tops and rooster stories and OutKast lyrics, well, it’s hard to imagine a better start to the month.

Thanks to everyone who came by—y’all were a delightfully enthusiastic bunch—and extra special giant thanks to poets Jason Tobin (below, middle left) and Layne Ransom (middle right), and musician Lost John (far right) for joining Tyler on the stage.

More Wreck launch

If you’d like to hear awesome music and peachy poems from Lost John, Layne, Jason, and everyone’s favorite golf disc enthusiast, check out the footage below. And then stop by Malvern Books and ask for your very own copy of MORE WRECK MORE WRECK (and while you’re at it, you might like to ask us about Collected Feelings, Layne and Tyler’s recent chapbook collaboration). You won’t be sorry!

An Autumnal Everything

Last night we hosted an all-new edition of our Everything is Bigger reading series—and it was especially all-new, because the three wonderful readers were all newcomers to Austin. Let’s have a warm welcome for (from left to right) accomplished poets Ana CarreteBen Kopel and Mike Bushnell (with host Tyler Gobble, second from left, who is not new, but who has a new book coming out very soon).

Everything is Bigger Also new? The Everything is Bigger trivia contest, designed to encourage more yelling in the bookstore. There were a host of wonderful prizes up for grabs, including a waterproof disposable camera (with eighteen photos still left!), a slightly chipped coffee mug, and a copy of Ray Stevens’ classic album, Surely You JoustSo if you’d like some first-rate literary entertainment (and an answer to the trivia question “What is the only American state whose name can be typed using just one row of the keyboard?”), then watch on! And remember to keep the evening of November 12th free for the next refreshing round of Everything is Bigger.

Recommended: Buffam & Bat

The captivating Mr. Tyler Gobble (host of the soon-to-return Everything is Bigger) has a couple of sterling summer reading recommendations for you today:

The IrrationalistThe Irrationalist by Suzanne Buffam
(Canarium Books, Poetry)

Let me say it simply: This is one hell of an enjoyable book. Not always cheery or blossomed with dance hall fervor, sure, but charmingly witty and playfully insightful, absolutely. You might have seen me pacing around the store, smiling and shaking my head YES, and odds are I was holding this book. Here, you can have it now. Enjoy.

Bat City 10Bat City Review, Volume 10
(Literary Magazine)

This here new issue of Bat City Review showcases exactly why I love journals: under one pretty cover, a whole mess of goodness, stories and poetry and art fresh into the world. Particularly, I dig Mykola Zhuravel’s art and Joe Hall’s poems, but really, friend, you can’t go wrong by picking up this assorted awesomeness.

Lauren Becker Book Launch

If I Would Leave Myself BehindLast Thursday we were delighted to get out ye olde blue stacking chairs for a celebratory event: the launch of Lauren Becker’s debut short story collection, If I Would Leave Myself BehindIf you like your fiction fearless, funny, and profound, then this is the book for you. And you don’t have to take our word for it—Malvern favorite Joshua Mohr, author of the brilliant Fight Song, says Lauren “knows how to mix that perfect cocktail—equal parts pathos and elegant insight, with just a splash of humor.”

Lauren was joined on our stage by two top blokes: Malvernite Tyler Gobble (below center), who admirably took on the roles of both MC and reader, and Josh Denslow (below right), who plays drums in the electro-pop band Borrisokane when he’s not writing awesome fiction. You can watch all three of them in action below. And don’t forget to check out our events calendar for upcoming excitements—we’ve got a lively summer ahead of us!

Lauren, Tyler, Josh