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Wave Poetry Tour 2014: Mid-South and The South - Pt. 1

Crossing over the gentle roll of the Ozarks, through dark stands of white oaks and shortleaf pines, and past the Walmart world headquarters, I came upon Fayetteville, AR. I’d heard tell of some interesting literary goings-on in this collegiate outpost—rumors satisfied in short order by walking through the doors of Nightbird Books on Dickson St. First off the shelf was Anselm Berrigan’s Notes From Irrelevance, and other works by Wave authors like Graham Foust and Geoffrey G. O’Brien were close at hand. The store acts as a locus for regional poets, but has an appeal that attracts energy from all over—thanks in no small part to local advocates like Matthew Henriksen, whose efforts as organizer were apparent all over in the form of readings curated and journals edited by his hand. It was a quiet morning when I wandered in, but I could feel a rumbling as classes were letting out..

Most of my priorities have been made quite plain by now. I’ll sniff out a bookstore from 30 klicks—sometimes to the point of utter distraction. But presently racing headlong into the South afforded me a mysterious excitement akin to ripping open a pack of crisp Upper Deck baseball cards (you never know what you’re gonna get, but you hope on everything sacred there’s a Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie in there). it wasn’t even quite clear to me until rolling into Memphis, TN that along with my usual fixations, there would be drawls, BBQ ribs, and Graceland (see Jungle Room below for shag-carpeted ceilings). Put briefly: various histories awaited.

And what better way to bring my very contemporary campaign to a region of many historical intersections than to swing through Burke’s Books. Open to the intellectually curious of Memphis since 1875—making it one of the countries oldest surviving bookstores—Burke’s has been brought quite flawlessly into our historical moment. With Cheryl and Corey Mesler behind the counter and out in the community, the sometimes-fickle literary identity of Memphis has solid foundations upon which to build and branch out. And they’re the first two to tell you that Memphis is up-and-coming, which makes sense as they collaborate with and engage writers near and far who are drawn to their passion and know-how. May Burke’s thrive to see yet another century!

Many miles on long stretches of open road. City after city and face after face of unknowns. Truly, the traveling life can be wearisome and solitary at times. One can perhaps be so lonesome one could cry. One could perhaps find a tear in one’s beer. As far as finding a little desperation in common goes, the disposition has long been shared in Nashville, TN. Though you can always trade in desperation for good reads and sweet satisfaction at Parnassus Books. Popularly recognized as Ann Patchett’s bookstore, Parnassus is really the result of a young literary crowd cropping up in the city known for its music. Patchett, along with Karen Hayes, was able to bring the independent spirit back to Nashville at a time when even the big boys started croaking. What they’ve started to foster in the wake of their project is a realignment of the commerce of the physical book with the welfare of writers in a physical space. With Wave Books on the shelf and prospective readers a buzz, it felt like quite a slick space indeed.

Across the Cumberland River and into East Nashville, I had to stop into East Side Story. This efficiency-studio of a storefront—clustered with a huddle of new, single-unit spaces available for retail and art studios—has quite a bit going on inside. I chatted with proprietor Chuck Beard, who laid on me his version of the literary Nashville that’s budding, his hopes for and role in helping that precious fruit to flourish, and how the rise of East Nashville’s arts & culture has provided fresh acreage where writers can assemble, read their work, and (especially in Chuck’s TN-centric shelves) be found in printed & bound formats. His place is stuffed with local materials from zines to hardbacks, children’s to poetry to ghost lore. Showing up unannounced at a place like East Side Story and meeting someone as genuine and committed to the cause (in talk and walk) as Chuck is really what a trip like this is all about. No glad-handing, no product placement—just face-to-face real-talk with an individual whose enterprise holds steadfast to the raising of underrepresented voices to the fore, sharing a little joy over the written word. 

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Dara Wier in Hyperallergic!

Three poems by Dara Wier to read on Hyperallergic… What are you waiting for?

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Wave Books Warehouse Sale: Poets in Translation

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Italo Calvino once said, “The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.” Translation is one of the trickiest, infuriating and rewarding work done in poetry, and Wave is happy to offer all of our translations as part of our June Warehouse Sale (50% off plus free shipping).

  • Advice from 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic (Spanish)by Mario Santiago Papasquiaro, translated by Cole Heinowitz and Alexis Graman
  • In Time’s Rift (German)by Ernst Meister, translated by Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick
  • Into the Snow (Russian and Chuvash) by Gennady Aygi, translated by Sarah Valentine
  • Micrograms (Japanese and Spanish) bJorge Carrera Andrade, translated by Alejandro de Acosta and Joshua Beckman
  • New Exercises (French) by Franck André Jamme, translated by Charles Borkhuis
  • Poet by Default (French) by Tristan Corbière translated by Noelle Kocot 
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http://somaticpoetrymeditations.blogspot.com/

Need some space for meditation? CA Conrad’s got your back.

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Wave Books Warehouse Sale: Looking at Poets Writing about the Environment

Nature works its way into many poets’ works and ours are no different. Many of our writers have a very keen awareness about the environment and ecology. From CA Conrad's (Soma)tic Meditations to the poems of Eileen Myles and Hoa Nguyen, many Wave authors touch on themes of conservation and the importance of the environment. Noelle Kocot has been featured as a Poet for Living Waters while Jorge Carrera Andrade's and Joshua Beckman's poems often contemplate the natural world.

Check out these poets and more during our Warehouse Sale through June, selected titles are half priced and, as always, are shipped for free!

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Tucked back in one of our planet’s oldest mountain ranges, Malaprop’s Bookstore is hq to all of Asheville, NC’s literary-minded. Since 1982, they’ve been western NC’s beacon, and an example to all how a bookstore makes the book the vessel of community support and cultural exchange. #wavepoetrytour #malaprops #blackmountainforever

Tucked back in one of our planet’s oldest mountain ranges, Malaprop’s Bookstore is hq to all of Asheville, NC’s literary-minded. Since 1982, they’ve been western NC’s beacon, and an example to all how a bookstore makes the book the vessel of community support and cultural exchange. #wavepoetrytour #malaprops #blackmountainforever

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Wave Books Warehouse Sale: Spotlight on West Coast Authors

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Photo via United States Tourism

Having trouble picking what books Wave’s offering in the June Warehouse sale? Take a look at some of these authors, all residing in the Pacific Timezone.

Gillian ConoleyJoe Wenderoth, Garrett Caples, Maggie Nelson, Anthony McCann, Sarah Valentine, and Geoffrey G. O’Brien all call California home, while John Beer and Rodney Koeneke spend their days in Portland, OR. Joshua Beckman, our Editor in Chief of course lives in Seattle, WA where we were founded in 2005! And if you’re looking for poetry influenced by the Pacific Northwest, look no farther than Cedar Sigo, current resident of San Francisco, CA.

Don’t fret if you’re not in this neck of the woods, our sale titles are all available here with a 50% discount and free shipping!

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Wave Books at Powell’s in Seattle, WA

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Powell’s Books is focusing in on Wave Books, thanks to Jay Ponteri for finding this! Thanks as always for your continuing support!

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Too lovely to pass up—Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston. Sleek & stacked with pristine editions of your favorite southern gothics, new & talented local authors, and much more. Not, in reality, packed with gearheads. #wavepoetrytour #bluebicycle

Too lovely to pass up—Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston. Sleek & stacked with pristine editions of your favorite southern gothics, new & talented local authors, and much more. Not, in reality, packed with gearheads. #wavepoetrytour #bluebicycle

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"don’t want to go to the well-reviewed movie…
or buy anything in any superb boutique
except
a slightly elliptical stoneware sugar bowl…
I don’t want to have coffee or not have coffee
or listen to This American Life on infidelity
which makes me tired b/c I don’t want to have sex w/
anyone just want my dear husband to
read me Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
while I lie in bed with a buckwheat eye pillow
are you scandalized by my admission of love
for genre fiction?"

— "Pedestrian" in The Pedestrians by Rachel Zucker, reviewed by Jeannine Hall Gailey (via therumpus)

(via therumpus)