Local Literary Picks for “Cyber Monday”! (no short-term deals, only great, local books available all year!)

While these may not exactly be rock-bottom prices on consumer goods, I wanted to show everyone who may be in the midst of the early holiday-shopping frenzy where they might find some local books & journals for themselves and other bibliophiles in their lives!

Sheri Wright, poet and fine-art photographer, self-released her sixth collection The Feast of Erasure this year. You can purchase poetry books and photo prints directly.

Local poet and journalist, not to mention the progenitor of InKY (say thanks next time you see her!), Erin Keane has  two books Death-Defying Acts, a collection of gritty prose poems about complex carnival folk, and The Gravity Soundtrack, filled with poems inspired by (mostly American Rock) music.

Affrilachian poet Makalani Bandele‘s book Hell-Fightin’ is rife with jazz and history.

Sean Patrick Hill is the author of two poetry collections and a few hiking books. He has a new collection forthcoming in 2013, and you can find links to buy his book on his blog.

Lynelle Major Edwards is the president of Louisville Literary Arts (the local, non-profit organization behind InKY and The Writer’s Block festival) as well as the author of three full-length collections of poetry which you can read about and purchase here. Her blog also has a section outlining the wonderful organizations responsible for Keeping Louisville Literary!

Brian Leung is the author of the novels Take Me Home and World Famous Love Acts. Look for his work at Carmichael’s Books and other local bookstores.

Adam Day is the author of the poetry chapbook Badger Apocrypha,  which can be found at Carmichael’s as well. He is searching for a publisher for a newer, full-length collection of poems and writing a novel.

Kirby Gann is the author of three novels: The Barbarian Parade, Our Napoleon in Rags, and mostly recently Ghosting (click to read reviews including kudos from Publisher’s Weekly).

Typecast publishing is an up-and-coming small press that likes to make unique books by hand. Originating out of The Lumberyard magazine project with Fire Cracker Press (#10 available soon!), this Louisville, KY based publisher has had a huge impact on the local lit. scene and continues to volunteer time, etc. to The Writer’s Block festival, and other projects. They’ve so far published fiction and poetry which you can find for purchase on their website (I recommend M. Bartley Seigel’s collection of poems about the rust-belt, This is What They Say; he also heads a rag called PANK which isn’t local but I do HIGHLY recommend reading it).

Larkspur Press is a publisher of hand-made books whose letterpress shop is in Monterey, KY. They have published Fred Smock who currently teaches at Bellarmine, Richard Taylor formerely at Kentucky University, and UofL graduate and current KY poet-laureate Maureen Morehead among others. These hand-cut and bound books feature wood-block and linoleum block prints by artists such as Steve Armstrong and many others.

Sarabande Books is a non-profit literary press founded in 1994 in Louisville, KY. They focus on poetry, short fiction, and essay. You can search their catalog here.

Catch-up is headed up locally by Adam Day and Jeff Hipsher. They have recently released their third issue guest edited by Catherine Wagner, Sean Bishop, Hannah Gamble, and DA Powell.

You can read interviews with most of these authors and publishers here. Take a look; inform your holiday and other purchases. Remember, these folks work for a living. They don’t mark up their goods, and thus you won’t find any high-pressure sales, only fine literary art! This means two things: you’re putting money in the hands of the makers, and you can shop local books all year long! Also, whether you dig any of the books listed above or not, please BUY LOCAL and KEEP LOUISVILLE LITERARY!

(Full Disclosure: I am privileged to know some of these fine artists personally)

Literary Events Up-to and Including Writer’s Block Festrival Oct. 13th!

In a moment I will outline the full schedule for the (second annual) Writer’s Block Festival this coming Saturday Oct. 13th with many exciting FREE events and very affordable workshop opportunities.

But first! The little literary things that make Louisville awesome!

Two events will be going on Wednesday Oct. 10th, back to back. First up, at 7:00 at Carmichael’s Bookstore (2720 Frankfort Ave) Sue Driskell will be reading from her new book Knocking On The Door Of Spring (Larkspur press, 2012) with current Kentucky poet laureate Maureen Morehead, whose books are also on Larkspur (they make some seriously beautiful, hand-crafted books, right here in KY!)

Second, head down to E. Market (or NULU if you prefer) and check out Subterranean Phrases downstairs at Decca (812 E.market). That will kick off at 9pm in one of the coolest (seriously, bring a jacket) spaces I’ve ever seen: an all stone cellar decked out in swankness! Poet Jay Sizemore is driving up from Nashville to read and will be accopanied by guitarist Jonny Sands and violinist Aaron West. This event is the newest brainchild of long-time literary arts promoter Rachel Short who also happens to be a composer, poet and musician. Subterranean Phrases is fresh, unique, and begins with an open-mic session.

Fast forward to Friday: another InKY series reading kicks off the Writer’s Block Festival with the distinguished poet Maurice Manning (who will be giving a worskshop Sat.), and award-winning fiction author Crystal Wilkinson (who co-owns Wild Fig Bookstore in Lexington), music by Mike Karman and A Girl Named Earl. Open-mic sign-ups at 6:30pm, 7pm showtime at The Bards Town (1801 Bardstown Rd).

Saturday is the big day. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this fantastic, ONCE-A-YEAR celebration of the LITERARY ARTS! Everything I’m going to describe is FREE to attend accept for the workshops. Even the Keynote is FREE! Let’s start with the list of events:

Panels @ the Green Building (732 East Market Street; registration opens at 9am!):

10am-11:15 Making Matter: An Editor’s Discussion, w/ Tony Fasciano (Digital Americana Magazine), Jen Woods (Typecast Publishing), M. Bartley Seigel ([PANK]), and Matt Dobson (The Paper); moderated by Wesley Fairman (Fiction Editor, Sawmill)

11:30-12:45 Writer’s Block Conversation with Cornbread Mafia author Jim Higdon.

1-2:15 Younger Games: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Writing Young Adult Fiction.

2:30-3:45 Blog-In: with Martha Bourlakas, “Martha Muse” and featuring bloggers Amy Miller, “ADDled”; Donna Ison, “The Bourbonista”; Elizabeth Orrick, “Epicurious Louisville” and others.

Literary Louisville Arts (LLA) presents readings at Swanson Reed Gallery (638 E. Market, one block from the Green Building):

1-2pm Jeriod Avant (poetry), Sena Naslund (Fiction), John Gamel (non-fiction).

2-3pm Martha Greenwald (Poetry), Frank Bill (Fiction), Sonja DeVries (poetry).

3-4pm Adriena Dame (Fiction), Chris Mattingly (poetry), Angel Elson (Non-fiction).

note: I will be hosting one or more of the readings; come say “hello”!

The Print Fair (Green Building, 732 East Market Street) runs from 9am-4pm. Tables by Typecast Publishing, Sarabande Books, Accents Publishing, The Louisville Review, The White Squirrel, Hound Dog Press (letterpress shop that does the Writer’s Block posters) and more!

PLEASE stop by and check out these vendors between events. I know for a fact that all the publishers have new titles, several of which I’ve read and can assure you are awesome.

The KEYNOTE READING with two-time NATIONAL POETRY SLAM winner ANIS MOJGANI will happen at 6 pm, @ Cressman Center, 100 East Main Street. Make sure to reserve your ticket at registration. FREE courtesy of U of L’s creative writing program.

Head back to the Greeen Building right after the key note, for the OPEN MIC after party hosted be Jeriod Avant. Spaces limited, so head straight over after getting your mind blown by Anis Mojgani (from TWB page “Anis has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues, the United Nations, and TEDx and his work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of such journals as Rattle, Used Furniture, and The Lumberyard. A founding member of the touring Poetry Revival, Anis is also the author of two poetry collections, both published by Write Bloody Publishing: Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008) and The Feather Room (2011)”).

The after after party party 8:30pm (hosted by Typecast Publishing) is at Garage Bar (700 E Market, basically next door to the Green Building) with readings by M. Bartley Seigel from his new book THIS IS WHAT THEY SAY. Anis Mojgani and Chris Mattingly are also hanging out.
(Full Disclosure: I do not work for nor am I currently published by or affiliated with LLA or any other organization or business associated with the Writer’s Block, but I am a volunteer for this day’s events.)