Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Subscriptions to The Honest Pint now available!

Tavern Friends,
Back in October, we unveiled plans for The Honest Pint, our subscription series edited by Matthew Dickman. It's now in full swing, with subscriptions available through the updated page on our website!

The Honest Pint is an ongoing series of brief prose pieces written by contemporary poets about the work of other poets. Each month starting in January 2013, subscribers will receive an envelope containing some form of original printed matter—an expository essay, a cartoon strip, a review, or an interview, for example—in which a poet responds to a poem of his or her choice.

These epistolary experiments will come to your mailbox from the likes of Albert Goldbarth, Matthew Zapruder, and Diane Wakoski, among others. But don't expect this kind of disclosure from us for long—the identity of each month's sender will remain a mystery until you break the envelope's seal.
We hope you're as excited as we are. Cheers!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

From the Planet Goldbarthiana

Thanks to Division Leap for hosting our Albert Goldbarth / The End of Space event last night. The standing-room-only reading was a smash, and it was a great way to kick off the release of our latest Tavern title. In the next few weeks we'll get the book added to our online catalog, where it will be available for purchase.

Cheers, and happy reading.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tavern recommends: City of Rivers by Zubair Ahmed

City of Rivers is hot off the press from McSweeney's (as a title in their McSweeney's Poetry Series), and we can't recommend it enough. Zubair Ahmed (Tavern author of Ashulia) has been receiving rave reviews for City of Rivers, with comparisons being drawn between his inventive and beautiful lyric poems and those penned by James Wright in The Branch Will Not Break. Not shabby.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Albert Goldbarth reads this Saturday! Don't forget!

Howdy, folks. Just a friendly reminder that Tavern Books author Albert Goldbarth will be reading from his new Tavern collection THE END OF SPACE.

Please join us for this Pylon Reading Society event (FREE and open to the public. Books for sale)

Who: Albert Goldbarth
What: Reading / Book Release Party for The End of Space
When: 7:30, Saturday, December 15th
Where: Division Leap / 211 SW 9th Ave / Portland

If you haven't been to Division Leap, then you're in for a treat. This is one of the Northwest's finest poetry bookstores and indie galleries. They have an amazing selection of literary ephemera and arts-movement-related poetry goodies. And they go far out of their way to support local publishers--they stock multiple copies of every Tavern Books title and broadside, including signed and hardcover editions.

Cheers! Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tavern Books + Street Books

We've recently added Portland-based nonprofit Street Books to our list of libraries participating in Poetry State. Street Books is an amazing program that serves Portland's homeless community by offering a mobile library service to those who live outside. Yes, you do see a totally cool, totally mobile bicycle library in the background of this photo. We are delighted to supply Street Books with fine books of poetry, and we wish them the best in their worthwhile endeavors. Click here for more info.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Honest Pint

Tavern Books is pleased to announce its forthcoming subscription series, The Honest Pint, which will be edited by Matthew Dickman. Here's how it works: each month, subscribers will receive a brief prose piece written by a contemporary poet celebrating the work of another poet. Each piece will be uniquely printed and accompanied by exciting ephemera. Nothing digital about it. This analog-era throwback is all about paper, ink, and a poet’s brain. The monthly Honest Pint will take many shapes: traditional essay, cross-genre experiment, cartoon strip, hand-written note, a brief interview—you name it! The purpose of this series is to connect the diverse landscape of contemporary poets to the reading public in a casual, meaningful, and unexpected way. We'll offer subscriptions starting in December, and will mail out the first honest print in January 2013. We have many exciting authors lined up for this project, including Albert Goldbarth and Diane Wakoski. Also in the works is the Tavern Books iPhone app. Check back soon!

Welcome aboard, Natalie!

We're pleased to announce that Natalie Garyet is the new Managing Editor of Tavern Books. Natalie is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College, is a poet, hails from Boulder, Colorado, and is active in the Portland arts and nonprofit scene. She'll be working on every aspect of the press, from editing to grant writing to taking the lead on our Poetry State program. Tavern Books has really taken off this past year, and we're thrilled that Natalie will be adding her voice and vision to the press.


Good for the brain!

Just wanted to pass along this great snapshot from one of the Tavern faithful, Dr. Mike Wynn, a neurologist working in Salem, Oregon. Dr. Wynn keeps his waiting room stocked with a rotating selection of Tavern Books titles! Pictured here is Ashulia by Zubair Ahmed, Casual Ties by David Wevill, and Buson: Haiku by Yosa Buson. How cool is that!?

We have many things cooking at Tavern Books: our website has been redesigned and expanded (with more features in the works); our Poetry State program is going gangbusters, and our forthcoming series, The Host Pint , is just about to be launched.

In other news--23 Sandy Gallery and Tavern board member Gabe Boehmer recently hosted a wonderful fundraiser for Tavern Books. Many thanks to 23 Sandy and Gabe for a special event! For you Portlanders, be sure to head down to 23 Sandy Gallery and check out their new exhibit, INKED. Among the great work there is a piece by Rory Sparks of Em Space. Rory is an insanely talented printer and book artist, and she's also binding a run of Tavern titles into hardcover. Waoh, do they look amazing!

Stay tuned, and happy reading.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Savage Sunsets by Adrian C. Louis

Hey Tavern fans--after a bit of a slow summer, we're now headlong into several exciting projects. William Stafford's Winterward and Nelly's Sachs's Glowing Enigmas are currently in the editing stages. Also in the mix are books by Adrian C. Louis, Eunice Odio, Charles Olson, David Wevill, and Greta Wrolstad, among others. Tavern Books author Adrian C. Louis's new full-length collection, Savage Sunsets, is forthcoming from the good folks at West End Press. Here's a link to a great video trailer supporting the publication of Savage Sunsets. A handful of poems from Louis's forthcoming book appear in his Tavern title, Archeology. As we've said a thousand times, we think Adrian C. Louis is one of the essential living American poets. Join us in celebrating his new book!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Six-Minute Reading, George Hitchcock Legacy Project, and more...

Hey gang, a quick post to let you know that we're headed to Eugene, OR, today to help celebrate the publication of George Hitchcock's (1914-2010) Six-Minute Poems at Tsunami Books. We are celebrating All-Things-George at this event, which happens to fall on his birthday. We have many Hitchcock projects in the works, including a chapbook publication of his hearing before the Un-American Activities Committee, which is bar none the best piece of impromptu subversive theater ever recorded. Over the next two years we're publishing George's collected poems in a multi-volume set, which will be housed in a slipcase. We are filled with excitement to be preserving this indelible body of work.

Today also kicks off the beginning of our George Hitchcock Legacy Project. We will be raising $10,000 to print, promote, and preserve our myriad Hitchcock projects. Individuals making a tax-deductible donation of $300 or more will have the option to be named as a contributor to the George Hitchcock Legacy Project, which will be acknowledged within the books. Click here to donate. 

George Hitchcock Celebration
Tsunami Books
June 2, 2012
3-5 pm

Cheers, and stay tuned!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tavern author Di Piero on News Hour

Click here to read / hear an interview with Tavern Books author W. S. Di Piero on PBS New Hour.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The death of books, or the death of the death of books?

Hey Folks, here's a link to a thought-provoking article about print culture produced by On The Media.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


It's no secret that we're huge Adrian C. Louis fans (for our money, he's absolutely one of the finest and most important North American poets now writing). And we know many of you are, too. We're soon to start his two-books-in-one Fire Water World & Among the Dog Eaters into production. To tide ourselves over, we've been watching the movie adaptation of Louis's heartbreaking novel, Skins (kept in print by the good folks at Ellis Press). We recommend both the novel and film...each looks straight into the fire, unflinchingly taking the vital signs of a country happy to glance away from those toiling at the margins.

To borrow Sherman Alexie's words:  "Louis has written a violent and dangerous book about twentieth-century Sioux Indians. This novel is a complex portrait of racism and brotherhood, sexism and affection, murder and redemption, alcoholism and laughter. These are not the simple Sioux of Dances with Wolves. These are not ‘Native’ Americans. These are Indians (yes, Indians) living, dying, and loving on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Skins is about the love between brothers, men and women, parents and children. Believe me, despite all the pain and because of the pain, this is a love story.”

Happy reading (or viewing)! 

For further reading: Archeology

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ann Patchett's NY Times article on the Pulitzer Prize

WHAT goes on during a deliberation is a private matter for the jurors alone; the rest of us are privy only to the verdict. That holds true for book awards as well as murder cases. So when the Pulitzer Prize Board announced on Monday that there were three finalists for the fiction prize and no winner, we were left to draw our own conclusions.

So far I’ve been able to come up with two: either the board was unable to reach a consensus, or at the end of the day the board members decided that none of the finalists, and none of the other books that were not finalists, were worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.

What I am sure of is this: Most readers hearing the news will not assume it was a deadlock. They’ll just figure it was a bum year for fiction. As a novelist and the author of an eligible book, I do not love this. It’s fine to lose to someone, and galling to lose to no one.

Still, it is infinitely more galling to me as a reader, because there were so many good books published this year. I put Edith Pearlman’s “Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories” at the top of that list, and so did many others. She was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. Her collection would have stood among the best winners in the Pulitzer’s history.
My other favorite was Denis Johnson’s “Train Dreams,” which did make it onto the Pulitzer Prize shortlist. I don’t think there is a sentence in that book that isn’t perfectly made, and its deeply American story fits with the Pulitzer’s criteria.

On that count, the prize could rightly have gone to two other books with important takes on the American condition: Russell Banks’s “Lost Memory of Skin” or Jesmyn Ward’s “Salvage the Bones,” the winner of the National Book Award. It could have taken a turn for the strange and highly imaginative and gone to another of the three finalists, Karen Russell’s “Swamplandia!” or to Kevin Wilson’s beautifully weird “The Family Fang.”

And while no one has ever won for two consecutive books, couldn’t this have been the year? I have no doubt that Jeffrey Eugenides would have won for “The Marriage Plot” if he hadn’t already won for “Middlesex.”
If I feel disappointment as a writer and indignation as a reader, I manage to get all the way to rage as a bookseller.

In November of last year, along with my business partner, Karen Hayes, I opened Parnassus Books in Nashville. The brick-and-mortar bookstore, as people seem to point out to us hourly, is not exactly a thriving business model (though we are doing fine), and the publishing industry, especially since the Department of Justice has decided to be Amazon’s bodyguard, is struggling as well.

So while it’s true that the Pulitzer committee has, since its inception in 1917, declined to award the prize on 10 previous occasions, I can’t imagine there was ever a year we were so in need of the excitement it creates in readers.

The winners are written up in papers and talked about on the radio, and sometimes, at least on PBS stations, they make it onto television. This in turn gives the buzz that is so often lacking in our industry — Did you hear about that book?

With book coverage in the media split evenly between “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The Hunger Games,” wouldn’t it have been something to have people talking about “The Pale King,” David Foster Wallace’s posthumous masterwork about a toiling tax collector (and this year’s third Pulitzer finalist)? Wallace is not going to have another shot at a win, which makes the fact that no one could make up their minds as to whether or not he deserved it all the more heartbreaking.

Let me underscore the obvious here: Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.

Unfortunately, the world of literature lacks the scandal, hype and pretty dresses that draw people to the Academy Awards, which, by the way, is not an institution devoted to choosing the best movie every year as much as it is an institution designed to get people excited about going to the movies. The Pulitzer Prize is our best chance as writers and readers and booksellers to celebrate fiction. This was the year we all lost. 

Let's celebrate W. S. Di Piero!

Tavern Books author W. S. Di Piero got some great and well-deserved news the other day! He's been named the 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner by the Poetry Foundation, one of the nation's most prestigious awards honoring the life and work of a living poet. Di Piero's had many irons in the fire over his career. He's been publishing a steady stream of thoughtful art criticism for decades, he's been publishing a wide array of essays (both personal and cultural) for decades, he's been publishing amazing volumes of Italian poetry in translation for decades, and, of course, he's the author of numerous collections of poetry. The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize is a lifetime achievement award, which may seem a bit odd, given that Di Piero is a young buck. But, if you stand back and admire the Di Piero corpus, you can easily see that his lifetime of admiring, loving, making, and writing about art is an accomplishment and a way of life that few have the talent or courage to take part in.

When Di Piero gave us his blessing to publish his translation of Leonardo Sinisgalli's selected poems, Night of Shooting Stars, we knew we had something special. This book is one that we constantly talk about, and it's a title that Tavern Books fans often rave about. Really, it's one of the finest books we've published, and it's a volume that has come, and will continue, to define Tavern Books. For further reading, check out his recently released Nitro Nights from Copper Canyon Press.

Our hats off to W. S. Di Piero!

Here's a link to the Poetry Foundation's announcement of the Ruth Lilly Prize.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The eagle has landed!

Dear Tavern Books fans,

It's official! Tavern Books is now a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization!

Lots of big changes are now in the works...so stay tuned.

Cheers, and happy reading!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Congrats Tavern author Joseph Millar!

Congrats are in order for Tavern Books author Joseph Millar--it was announced today that he's one of 10 North American poets to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship this year. Joseph's Tavern title, Ocean, is simply remarkable. Carnegie Mellon University Press just released his new full-length collection, Blue Rust.


It's here!

Finally, our 4th Tranströmer book has been delivered from the printer! All orders will be filled today. John F. Deane's translation of For the Living and the Dead is excellent, and we look forward to you cracking this book open!

The next book we're sending into production is Michael Hamburger's translation of Nelly Sach's book-length poem, Glowing Enigmas.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tavern Recommends....Keith Ekiss

Tavern Books author Keith Ekiss has many poetry irons in the fire. His first full-length collection, Pima Road Notebook (New Issues, 2010), is a knockout. Lurking beneath the surface of his pared-down realism is a wild, expansive, human landscape that shifts effortlessly between the internal and external, the public and private, the mystical and the quotidian. Though rooted in place, geography is not an arriving point; rather, Ekiss's Arizona is a staging area and launch pad for the author to explore the multifaceted conundrum of 20th century American life. 

Pima Road Notebook (II)

Always the abandoned mattress springs in the arroyo.
And sunlight dusting tattered afternoon curtains.
Down street, the boy who stuttered but could sing.
No one she could talk to like she wanted to talk.
I should’ve been her lovely girl.
My father said he made something from nothing, like sons.
Brothers were other animals.
Javalina bristled for water outside my sleep.
Coyotes gathered and chattered in guttural moans.
All night she thought the howls were only dogs.
My body’s better use, casting a shadow for a quail.
I watched the tame hawk return to its hooded wrist.
She dropped me off for school at Cherokee Elementary.
Heat pulsing in my temple and sweat.
I found a nest of rabbits hidden in the cholla.
The young are born helpless, naked, and blind.

But it gets better! In late 2012 we will be publishing Keith Ekiss's co-translation of Eunice Odio's The Fire's Journey (Volume 1), the first of four volumes we'll be publishing in the near future. It's an understatement to say that Odio's epic poem is amazing--it's absolutely a work of genius, oddity, lyrical invention, and unparalleled myth-making. This may be an apples-and-oranges comparison, but Odio's epic gave us the same shivers that Inger Christensen's Alphabet and It have been giving us over these past few years. Vicente Huidobro's Altazor also comes to mind. We can't express just how excited we are to be bringing you Odio's work, and in such a fine translation. Stay tuned...and get ready!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tim Johnson, Tavernite and indie hero

Hey folks, a quick post to let you know that one of Tavern's biggest supporters, Tim Johnson of the Marfa Book Co., was featured in the New York Times today in an ongoing series of articles chronicling the visionary artists that make Marfa, Texas, one of the most interesting, curious, and vibrant art scenes in the US. Tim stocks all of our books, spreads the Tavern gospel, and runs one the finest indie bookstores in the country. Tim's got his ear to rail for all-things-art, and his book store / gallery / music venue is well worth a pilgrimage. Follow this link to see what the New York Times has to say. Of note: in the Times article, Portland's own Laura Gibson is featured doing an in-store at Marfa Book Co. What could be better?


Yo Bay Area folks!

Small Press Distribution, indie heroes and distributors of Tavern Books titles, is holding their annual fundraiser. Please see below for full details. Supporting SPD is really an act of supporting Tavern Books and the several hundred like-minded indie publishers that SPD serves. Thanks! 

Tickets are now available for the sixth annual BEE-IN, A Spelling Bee to Benefit Small Press Distribution.  Don't miss your chance to attend this exciting event, coming up on May 14th!


THE BEE-IN is an old-fashioned spelling bee but with alcohol, tasty nibbles, and more fun! Thank you to Crown Point Gallery for providing the beautiful setting for this event. Proceeds support the work of SPD, the nation's only remaining non-profit distributor of literary small press books.
Food & Drinks kindly provided by ThirstyBear, Kermit Lynch & St. George Spirits.
6:30: Drinks, Delectables & Auction
7:30: Spelling Bee
Emcee: Sedge Thomson of KALW & West Coast Live
Judge: Geoffrey Nunberg, NPR commentator, professor at UC Berkeley, and board member of the American Heritage Dictionary


Note: all tickets purchased online will be held at will-call at the event.
(Please list all guest names in the "comments" section during order checkout.)  
$75 Ticket
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$30 "Starving Artist" Ticket
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$125 Couples' Ticket (2 Guests on 1 Ticket)
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$250 Patron Ticket (Includes Priorty Seating & Special Acknowledgment)
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SPELLERS (More to come!)
Cy Musiker Dennis Bernstein Cara Black
  Cy Musiker Dennis Bernstein Cara Black

Dennis J. Bernstein has been a longtime front line reporter specializing in Human Rights. His articles have appeared widely including in the Boston Globe, New York Times, The Progressive, and The Nation. Bernstein was chosen by Pulse Media as one of "20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009." His first book of poems, Special Ed, is just out from NYQ Books.

Jack Boulware is a San Francisco Library Laureate, co-founder of Litquake, and the author/co-author of three books, including the Bay Area punk oral history Gimme Something Better. He grew up on a ranch in Montana.

Cara Black, bestselling mystery writer, is the author of the Aimee Leduc mystery series including, most recently, the 12th book in the series, Murder at the Lanterne Rouge (Soho Crime).

Jewell Gomez is a writer and activist and the author of the double Lambda Award-winning novel, The Gilda Stories from Firebrand Books. Her adaptation of the book for the stage "Bones & Ash: a Gilda Story," was performed by the Urban Bush Women company in 13 U.S. cities.

Kate Levinson, a psychologist who practices in Oakland, came out with her popular Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money in 2011. She her husband own Point Reyes Books in Pt. Reyes Station, CA.

Joshua Mohr is the author of the Termite Parade, which was an Editors' Choice on The New York Times Best Seller List and an SF Chronicle best-seller. His third novel Damascus came out in 2011 to much acclaim including a starred review from Library Journal suggesting it reads "like a cross between Harry Crews and Armistead Maupin."

Cyrus Musiker is a reporter for KQED. He has been a frequent contributor to NPR's Crossroads, Latin File, Living on Earth, Marketplace, and other shows.  Cy's work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism.
Jacqueline E. Luckett's Finish Party, which she founded along with seven other women writers-of-color, was featured in O Magainze in 2007. Her first novel, Searching for Tina Turner, came out in 2010 from Grand Central Publishing. Her second novel, Passing Love, also from Grand Central, is just out this year.
John Jay Osborn, Jr. grew up in San Francisco, attended local schools, then went to Harvard College and Harvard Law School. A movie and television show were made from his bestselling novel The Paper Chase, which has recently been re-issued as a 40th anniversary edition from SPD publisher Peninsula Road Press.  
D.A. Powell is the author of Chronic (Graywolf Press, 2009); Cocktails (Graywolf Press, 2004); Lunch (Wesleyan University Press, 2000); and Tea (Wesleyan University Press, 1998). He teaches at the University of San Francisco and lives in the Bay Area.

Tavern recommends Memories Look at Me

We'd like to recommend Tomas Tranströmer's Memories Look at Me, the Nobel laureate's micro memoir recently published by the good folks at New Directions. At sixty-four pages, and taking up about as much space in your book bag as a passport, this tiny volume contains a vast, heartfelt account of the poet's youth. No matter what genre he dives in to, Tranströmer defies the expected, revealing vast interior and exterior landscapes in writing that is concise and lyrical, guarded and expansive.

In related news, our forthcoming Tranströmer volume, For the Living and the Dead, has been printed and is currently riding the rails to our distributor. We'll be filling orders early next week.

Happy reading!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The End of Space...or is it?

Ok. Do we love Albert Goldbarth? Yes, we do. For lots of reasons. But first, this anecdote...

In the dog days of Portland's late 2011 summer, we were sitting around the table with poet and Tavern Books ally Matthew Dickman talking about possible future titles for the Tavern Books catalog, Oregon beer, the poems of Adrian C. Louis, and the end of NASA's Shuttle Program. For a bunch of Cold War kids, the end of the Shuttle Program was and is virtually unthinkable, at best. Yet, it is no more. Eventually, talk turned to Albert Goldbarth, veritable collector of 20th century space ephemera, poet, and staunch advocate of all things analog. Why don't we ask Goldbarth to write a chapbook-length piece on the end of the Shuttle Program, someone said. Yeah, you could call it, The End of Space, Dickman chimed. And so, a few months later, we contacted Albert Goldbarth by carrier pigeon and asked if he'd be interested to write a piece, be it prose or poetry, on the end of the Shuttle Program. To our delight, he responded with a resounding "Yes!" So, there you have it. We're currently laying out The End of Space, and is it a beauty! By turns deadly serious, flippant, funny, and heartbreaking, Goldbarth's forthcoming Tavern title is an absolute masterpiece. The book is made up of 10 linked lyrical prose vignettes. Could we be happier?! No way. Stay tuned, space fans, The End of Space in nigh...


Adrienne Rich, 1929 - 2012

Adrienne Rich, poetry hero and activist, 1929 - 2012

Click here to read a thoughtful assessment of Rich's life and career in The New York Times.

Also, here's a recent article by David Orr.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Hey Tavern folks,

Just wanted to let you know that Tavern Books is moving its entire operation to Portland, Oregon. We've had things split between Portland and Salt Lake City for the past two years, but with 18 active titles and a dozen more full-length collections under contract, having Tavern Books in one location is going to be essential. 


Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's here!

Hey folks, we want to let you know that all orders for Tomas Tranströmer's Baltics will ship out this Thursday!

This book has been a long time in the making, and we're thrilled to fulfill the orders that we've received over the past few months.

We got our advanced copies a few days ago, and we can't stop looking at them.

Cheers, and happy reading!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Edson for Leap Day!

Today is Leap Day, that once-every-four-years date that keeps our earth spinning in sync with the calendar. Russell Edson, one of the great innovators and oddities in the contemporary poetry landscape is our official recommended reading for Leap Day.

Check out Oberlin College Press to read more about Edson's selected poems, The Tunnel, a truly mind-expanding and inimitable collection of prose poems from one of our great living poets.

Oberlin College Press's Field Translation Series is one of our personal favorites. We can't recommend this series enough.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meet Tavern author Jo McDougall at AWP

Howdy Tavernites,

Just a quick note to let you know two things. Tavern Books will not be at AWP this year, but many of our authors will. Jo McDougall, author of the Tavern collection Under An Arkansas Sky, will be signing copies of her incredible new memoir, Daddy's Money. This happens at the University of Arkansas Press table on March 1st from 1:30-2:30. You can also find her books at the Autumn House table.

Under an Arkansas Sky just went into its third printing. Congrats Jo!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baltics! On the way! At last!

At long last we've put the final touches on Tomas Tranströmer's remarkable Baltics!--we just signed off on the final galleys this morning! We've been working with Samuel Charters and Ann Charters over the past few months to get this very special edition of Baltics off to the printers. What started out as merely a reprint of Samuel Charters' seminal translation of  Baltics (published originally by Oyez in 1975) has turned into one of the most beautiful and serendipitous projects we've had the honor of working on. Not only does the book feature the original Swedish text en face, it also features an 80-page photo essay by Ann Charters, an icon of literary photography whose images of the Beats have occupied our imaginations for decades. At over 160 pages, this Tavern Books edition of Tranströmer's groundbreaking book-length poem is the most comprehensive in any language. We are waiting in anticipation for this book to hit the shelves. We've already pre-sold over 300 copies. For those of you who ordered your copies months ago, we thank you for your patience. We can't wait for you to hold this book in your hands. Cheers!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Marfa Book Co. and Tavern Books

If you find yourself driving through West Texas be sure to stop by the Marfa Book Co. in Marfa. This book store is owned and operated by poet, artist, editor, music producer, and activist Tim Johnson. This is truly one of the finest indie book stores on the planet, and we are thrilled to say that Tim is stocking our complete catalog.


Tavern recommends: 40 Watts by C. D. Wright

C. D. Wright's 40 Watts has just been released by Octopus Books in paperback. This collection features 40 small poems by Wright. And they are STUNNING. Here's a sample:


a barn held up by a pitchfork
surrounded by field on field
of wildflowers butterflies
cow pies beyond which
the snake-infested woods
the high-voltage fence
the big-stripe inmates

For those of you unfamiliar with Octopus Books, click here for more info. Our hats off to this great collection! This was printed in an edition of only 600 copies, so get while the gettin's good.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thanks White Pine Press!

Many heartfelt thanks are due to Dennis Maloney of White Pine Press for his recent (and very generous!) donation of over 1,000 books to our Book Drive for Rural Oregon Libraries and Tribal Libraries. Dennis sent us some of White Pine's finest titles, and lots of them. This shipment of books showed up at our door via semi as a shrink-wrapped pallet that had to be unloaded by forklift. We can't wait to pass these books along to the libraries involved in our donation program. This project has exceeded our expectations, and we're thrilled to be taking part in getting great books of poetry into the hands of the reading public. Here's to White Pine Press and Dennis Maloney!

White Pine Press is a non-profit literary publisher, established in 1973, which publishes poetry, fiction, essays, and literature in translation from around the world. For the past thirty years we have been at the forefront in bringing the rich diversity of world literature to the English speaking audience. We seek to enrich our literary heritage; to promote the cultural awareness, understanding, and respect so vital in our rapidly changing world; and to address complex social and human rights issues through literature. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tavern recommends Sancta

Tavern friend Andrew Grace has just published his third full-length collection, Sancta (Ahsahta Press, 2012), and is it spectacular! This book-length collection offers up a lyrically powerful and dense meditation on self and place. Grace, whose other books include A Belonging Field (Salt) and Shadeland (Ohio State University Press), has a style and lyrical range that few can match.

Here's the first piece (all the poems in Sancta are untitled prose poems):

Grief is the never ender in the raucous pond reeds. Ursa Minor sets out its silver lice in the cypress. Take one season and turn through it like these fruit bats, following sent-back abyss-ticks, here, and further out, here...I wanted this to be an epigraph. I wanted to rain for forty days. I wanted a trigger. I have a lake with a crown of bats. I have intransience. Salt away.

Happy reading!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tavern titles now at Powell's

Dear Tavernites, Powell's (downtown Portland location) is now stocking our titles. For those of you in Portland, swing on by the world's largest book store and enjoy the newest titles from our catalog. For those of you outside the borders of Portlandia, you can order through Powells.com and, of course, directly through the Tavern Books website.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tavern Pick for 2012

Enough with the best of 2011 lists and all those New Year's resolutions you'll never keep! Why not bring in 2012 by looking back to Tavern author Adrian C. Louis's 2004 collection Evil Corn (Ellis Press). There's nothing we love more than a new Adrian C. Louis book. And there's nothing we love more than an old Adrian C. Louis book. The poems in Evil Corn are unflinching, unrelenting, uncompromising, and heartbreaking--and, they're tempered with a sense of humor that is uncomfortably scathing and self interrogating. What emerges is a collection of prose poems that are as deeply moving as they are fierce and didactic. Later this year Tavern Books will be reprinting two of Louis's poetry collections, Fire Water World and Among the Dog Eaters, in one volume.

"Wild, sometimes foolish, sometimes poignant, often cartoony and sporadically brilliant. There's nothing politically correct about Adrian C. Louis."  --The New York Times Book Review

Happy New Year!