Climb Down at Malvern Books

Climb DownWe 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!

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

Bat City Bounty

We love to fill our Malvernian shelves with poetry and fiction from across the country and around the world, but we’re also rather partial to a little local lit. Below, a few of our recent Made-in-Austin poetry acquisitions…

Local Authors

Until You Electrocute Everyone and Into The Ropes by Deva Haney. Two candid, funny, and ferocious collections that demand to be read aloud. We’re also pleased to note that Haney is a friend to pirates.

Diamond Plate by W. Joe Hoppe. Coolly contemplative poetry that pulls off the tricky task of being both boldly experimental and instantly accessible. Hoppe teaches creative writing at Austin Community College, and he sounds like a bloody inspiring bloke.

Restless Astronomy by Michael Gilmore. The peripatetic Mr. Gilmore has lived in China, New York, and Iowa, but now calls Austin home. With startling imagery and sly asides, Restless Astronomy deftly lures the reader into an imagined world that feels both intensely personal and hauntingly familiar.