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Square Books 1

Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

For the first installment of our new series Inside Indie Bookstores, Jeremiah Chamberlin travelled to Oxford, Mississippi, to interview Richard Howorth, owner of Square Books. For the past thirty years, the independent bookstore has been a cornerstone of Oxford's literary community. 

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Literary Vietnam 1

Demilitarized Zone: Report From Literary Vietnam

Contributing editor Stephen Morison Jr. recently traveled to Vietnam and spoke with poets and novelists about the challenges they face nearly thirty-five years after the end of the Vietnam War. What his conversations reveal is a complex national psyche that continues to grapple with the legacies of the past even as it accepts the realities of the present.

Morison, who lives in Beijing, has contributed several articles that offer insights into international writing communities, including "Censored Stories: Report From Literary Myanmar" (November/December 2008), "Chinese Characters: Report From Literary Beijing" (May/June 2008), and "The Poets of Kabul: Report From Literary Afghanistan" (November/December 2006).

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Figure A

DIY: How to Stab-Stitch Bind a Chapbook

A companion to our special section on independent presses. View the Slideshow
Zak Smith 1

Zak Smith's We Did Porn

This month, Tin House Books is publishing Zak Smith's memoir We Did Porn. Featuring over a hundred drawings by Smith, who received a lot of attention for his 2004 series, "Pictures of What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow," the new memoir chronicles his journey into the Los Angeles alternative porn scene.

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Abbey McCulloch, oil on canvas, 2008, 60 x 70 cm

Victoria Reichelt’s Bookshelf Paintings

Inspired by the idea that bookshelves offer a glimpse into their owner’s personal life and interests, last year Australian artist Victoria Reichelt undertook a series of oil-on-canvas paintings based on photographs of random shelves and collections of books.

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Charles Henri Ford and Steve Luttrell

The Café Review: Publishing Poetry in Portland, Maine

Covers, photographs, correspondence from contributors, and other ephemera from the archive of Steve Luttrell, the founding editor of the Café Review, a twenty-year-old literary journal in Portland, Maine.

 

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"Untitled ['HD']"

Several Gravities by Keith Waldrop

A selection of collages from the new book published by the independent Siglio Press. View the Slideshow
Adam Cook

Small Press Point Erasures

Matthew Gallant, an English teacher at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, New Hampshire, wrote to us just before the new year with a story of how he struggled to get his students to do something constructive during the two days before Christmas break. Classes had been cancelled for more than a week due to power outages caused by a massive snow storm that had blown through the region.

"Since my classes had either just finished books before the storm, or had already been assigned work due after the official holiday break, I had two days to fill, using only my creativity, a photocopier, and any resources at hand," Gallant wrote. "I had just the day before received my January/February 2009 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, and was skimming the Small Press Points column when I happened across the section on Erasure. I had the magazine in my bag, deftly made 105 copies of page 18, passed it out to my students for our classes, read it with them, emphasized the important parts for understanding, and said, 'Go! It'll be collected at the end of the period.'" Below are some of the their erasures.

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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Richard Baker's Book Portraits

As more readers choose a nifty gadget like the Amazon Kindle or the Sony Reader over a hefty new hardcover; a simple e-mail from a subscription service like DailyLit over a letterpress chapbook; or a flashy iPhone application such as Stanza over the soft dog-ears of a well-worn paperback, those who still appreciate and even celebrate those objects made solely of paper, ink, and glue will likely respond to the work of forty-nine-year-old painter Richard Baker.

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Ar Yone Thit Bookshop

Literary Myanmar

Despite its poverty and dispiriting censorship, Myanmar is a highly literate country. Last spring freelance writer Stephen Morison Jr. traveled to Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, to visit its many bookstores and interview some of the local authors. He was there for only three days before Cyclone Nargis swept across the country, killing nearly 85,000 people.

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