Grolier, Oldest Continuously Run Poetry Bookstore in the U.S., Sold


The Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the oldest continuously run poetry bookstore in the United States, was recently sold by owner Louisa Solano. The buyer, Ifeanyi Mentiki, a poet and philosophy professor at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, will continue to run the store, which contains more than 15,000 volumes, as a poetry-only venue. The store’s reading series and annual poetry prize will continue under the name of the Ellen LaForge Memorial Poetry Foundation.

While the Grolier Poetry Book Shop has suffered from financial troubles in the past, Solano says that her poor health was the primary reason for the sale. Solano took over the store, a favorite of e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore, in 1974 after the death of one of the original founders, Gordon Cairnie. The recent sale was only the second time in nearly eighty years that the store has changed hands.