Thursday, November 11, 2010

Small Press Holiday Recommendations: Day 2

Today's small press recommendations come from three comrades from the Pittsburgh literary scene, and one brand new acquaintance. Writer Jesús Ángel García of San Francisco was sent to me by this year's First Responder, Michael Kimball, and I'm already excited to learn more about Jesús' forthcoming book, badbadbad. Savannah Schroll Guz is a woman full of energy. She's not only a great fiction writer and lit blogger, but a co-conspirator of mine in the Pittsburgh reading scene. (We like to devise ways to get you to come to our city and read to us.) Savannah was kind enough to add one-line reviews to her small press picks. I met Bob Ziller recently when he and artist Laura Jean McLaughlin opened a great used bookstore (called Awesome Books) in an emerging arts district of Pittsburgh. He also writes, translates, and publishes poetry. Since Bob is a big contrarian sells used books and has access to so many decades of small press titles, he decided to forgo the "published in the last two years" stipulation of the Holiday Recommendations. And Margaret Bashaar is co-founder of the awesome Pittsburgh poetry cabaret, The TypewriterGirls. She's also a wonderful poet; stay tuned for a poetry book review from Margaret.


1. Daddy's, Lindsay Hunter (Featherproof)
2. Museum of the Weird, Amelia Gray (FC2)
3. From Old Notebooks, Evan Lavender-Smith (BlazeVOX)

Recommended by
Jesús Ángel García, author of badbadbad (forthcoming in May 2011 on New Pulp Press)


1. Three Islands (poetry), Micah Ling (Sunnyoutside)
This was an Indiana Author's Award Finalist and depicts, in beautifully crafted language that has a strong narrative thread, the lives of three completely unrelated historical figures whose lives conceptually intersect by way of their eventual physical and/or metaphorical isolation.

2. The Jack Daniels Sessions EP: A Collection of Fantasies, Elwin Michael Cotman (Six Gallery Press)
Cotman has an amazing voice, and his fabulist descriptions are so vividly communicated, they almost lift from the page and become three-dimensional beings that are impossible images to forget.

3. Crossing the Trestle, Jim Meirose (Burning River Press)
These are haunting stories about characters who seem to resonate with depth and complexity.

Recommended by
Savannah Schroll Guz, author of American Soma (So New, 2009),


1. Rhythm Science, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid (Mediawork/MIT Press)
2. Brush Mind, Kazuaki Tanahashi (Parallax Press)
3. The Art Spirit, Robert Henri (Icon Editions/Westview Press)

Recommended by
Bob Ziller, poet, translator, co-owner of Awesome Books, and editor of Lascaux Editions
Awesome Books on Facebook


1. Soft Foam, Juliet Cook (Blood Pudding Press, 2010)
2. The Spare Room, Dana Guthrie Martin (Blood Pudding Press, 2009)
3. Cyborgia, Susan Slaviero (Mayapple Press, 2010)

Recommended by
Margaret Bashaar, co-host of The TypewriterGirls and editor of the anthology Make It So, most recently the author of Barefoot and Listening from Tilt Press (2009)


SavannahSchrollGuz said...

Awh! This is fantastic, Karen! Thank you *so much*--what a wonderful post!!

Margaret Bashaar said...

This is pretty fantastic! So much to add to the reading list. Will we get to see more of these, o Karen?

Karen Lillis said...

Thanks, ladies! @Margaret, I hope to blog these as often as I can between now and Xmas. Depends on how many submissions I get. Go ahead and spread the word among small press folks: writers, editors, booksellers.

jesusangelgarcia said...

This is so great, Karen. Thank you for including me. Love the recs, too. Two of Bob's I know well. The DJ Spooky manifesto is like nothing else, and Kazuaki Tanahashi...

Bob, you've gotta check out Tanahashi's just-released, 1000-page, complete translation of Dogen's Shobo Genzo: Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shambhala). It's a mind-bender.

If you like, here's something I wrote up for Electric Lit on the release celebration this past weekend: Amazing event.

BobZiller said...

Wow - thanks, Jesus! Talk about synchronicity! I just became aware of Tanahashi's work a few months ago - it really resonated with me. I've been painting with sumi ink for about 15 years, and was very pleased to come across such a kindred spirit.
I'm looking forward to reading his translation of Dogen - mucho gracias!