Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Event: Camae Ayewa's Fetish Bones




Friday, Feb. 24th at 7:30pm
at
Brickbat Books:
Camae Ayewa:
Fetish Bones


In her debut book of poetry, Camae Ayewa is speaking about life beyond the gaze. She speaks about the multitudes of survival and resistance when it comes to the expansive lives of those that have come into her space of creation, both physical and spiritual. Her poetry is rooted in a practice she has created called "Anthropology of Consciousness," which invokes an understanding that spiritual energy is not stagnant but continuous in every dimension as spiral and boundless information. Her poetry is ageless, intergenerational, and not outside of, but through the bounds of time.

Her poetry recovers that which we have been forced to forget and realigns ancestral meridians that serve as our guides to our inner and outer worlds throughout existence. Fetish Bones shares the same title as her debut album Fetish Bones by Moor Mother released fall 2016 on Don Giovanni Records.

Fetish Bones book: http://futuresciences.storenvy.com/products/18419299-fetish-bones
Fetish Bones album: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/22424-fetish-bones/

 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Featured: Lydia Davis' Cows


The Cows by Lydia Davis

Quarternote Chapbook Series

"Lydia Davis is mathematician, philosopher, sculptor, jeweler, and scholar of the minute. Few writers map the process of thought as well as she, few perceive with such charged intelligence. The Cows, written with understated humor and empathy, is a series of detailed observations of three much-loved cows on different days and in different positions, moods, and times of the day."

"Lydia Davis, a 2003 MacArthur Fellow, is the author, most recently, of Collected Stories (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009). She is also the latest translator of Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust (Viking Penguin, 2002), and the forthcoming Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Viking Penguin, 2010). She lives in rural upstate New York, across the road from the cows she has studied with such attention, and teaches at SUNY Albany."


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Featured: Wakefield Press






RAKKOX THE BILLIONAIRE & THE GREAT RACEBy Paul Scheerbart
Illustrations by Félix Vallotton and ornaments by Jossot

Translated, with an introduction, by W. C.Bamberger

Two novellas from the inventor of perpetual motion and godfather of German science fiction. Rakkóx the Billionaire (1901), a "Protean Novel," tells the tale of a multibillionaire who abandons his militaristic aspirations (and such Quixotic fantasies dreamed up by his Department of Invention as the utilization of herring in submarine warfare) in favor of a plan to convert a cliff into a work of architectural art. The Great Race (1900), a "Development Novel in Eight Different Stories," describes an intergalactic competition among worm spirits who wish to separate from their stars and achieve true autonomy in a ferocious race of winged sleds, cannon-airships, sky-high wheel-shaped vehicles and 100-mile-tall stilt machines, whose winners will be transformed into gods. Veering from humorous, aggressive slapstick to ethereal visions of cosmic philosophy, Scheerbart's fiction offers something of a cartoon space odyssey, and resembles that of no other writer, either of his time or our own.
Paul Scheerbart (1863–1915) was a novelist, playwright, poet, newspaper critic, draughtsman, visionary, proponent of glass architecture, and would-be inventor of perpetual motion. Dubbed the “wise clown” by his contemporaries, he opposed the naturalism of his day with fantastical fables and interplanetary satires that were to influence Expressionist authors and the German Dada movement, and which helped found German science fiction. After suffering a nervous breakdown over the mounting carnage of World War I, Scheerbart starved to death in what was rumored to have been a protest against the war.
Press
“Scheerbart often reads like an apocalyptic mystic out of the Middle Ages who was somehow transported to the age of railroads and telegraphs.[…] Scheerbart is a mellow Marinetti; his faith in modern technology is not suffused with Futurist aggression, but with a dreamy aestheticism.”
—Adam Kirsch, The New York Review of Books

“This is Scheerbart at his most psychedelic, the lush intergalactic descriptions intercut with self-reflexivity (‘Do we think only in order to get intoxicated, or—do we get intoxicated only in order to think?’) and daffy, Neo-Kantian conversations on idealism and identity, all in the service of some sort of cosmic allegory.
—M. Kasper, Rain Taxi




THE STAIRWAY TO THE SUN & DANCE OF THE COMETS
FOUR FAIRY TALES OF HOME AND ONE ASTRAL PANTOMIME

By Paul Scheerbart

Translated, with an introduction, by W. C. Bamberger
The Stairway to the Sun & Dance of the Comets brings together two short books, originally published in 1903, by the anti-erotic godfather of German science fiction, Paul Scheerbart. The Stairway to the Sun consists of four fairy tales of sun, sea, animals, and storm, each set in a different, fantastical locale: from the giant fever-dream palace of an astral star to a dwarf’s glass underwater lair in the jellyfish kingdom. Scheerbart’s sad, whimsical tales provide gentle, simple, though unexpected morals that outline his work as a whole: treat animals as one would treat oneself, mutual admiration will never lead to harm, and if one is able to remember that the world is grand, one will never be sad in one’s own life.
Dance of the Comets, though published as an “Astral Pantomime,” was originally conceived as a scenario for a ballet, and one that Richard Strauss had planned to score in 1900 (and which Gustav Mahler even accepted for the Vienna Opera). Though the project was never realized, Scheerbart’s written choreography of dance, gesture, costume, feather dusters, violet moon hair, and a variety of stars and planets outlines a symbolic sequence of events in which everyone—enthusiastic maid, temperamental king, indifferent executioner, foolish poet—seeks, joins, and in some cases, becomes a celestial body: a “dance” toward higher aspirations and a staging of Scheerbart’s lifelong yearning for a home in the universe.




THE PIG IN POETIC, MYTHOLOGICAL, AND MORAL-HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
By Oskar Panizza
Translated, with an introduction, by Erik Butler

The Pig is the Sun...” So begins Oskar Panizza’s outrageously heretical and massively erudite essay on the pig, originally published in 1900 in Zurich Discussions, a journal self-published by Panizza in Switzerland after he had served a year in a Munich prison on 93 counts of blasphemy for his play The Love Council. Moving from the Rig Veda to the Edda to Ovid, from the story of Tristan and Isolde to Nordic celebrations of Christmas, from Grimm’s fairy tales to Swedish folklore to Judeo-Egyptian dietary restrictions, the author contends, through a dizzying exposition of painstaking philological argumentation, that the miraculous swine occupies a central, celestial position as the life-giving force animating the entire universe, usurping the place of God as the beginning and end of all things.
Oskar Panizza (1853–1921) was a German psychiatrist turned avant-garde author. In 1894 he published his notorious play The Love Council: “A Heavenly Tragedy in Five Acts” that depicted the spread of syphilis among humanity in 1492 through a senile god, an idiot Christ, a promiscuous Mary, and a depraved Pope Alexander VI. The play brought Panizza instantaneous literary fame that resulted in a twelve-month prison sentence. Moving to Zurich, he published a journal, Zurich Discussions, the majority of which he wrote himself under a series of pen names. After being expelled from Switzerland, he relocated to Paris until his 1899 publication of anti-Germanic verse led to his finances being seized. He spent the last sixteen years of his life in a Bavarian mental institution.
“They ought to erect either a stake for [Panizza] or a monument. Our public should finally learn that atheism also has its heroes and martyrs.”—Theodor Fontane
“Panizza is a terrorist...”—Heiner Müller




THE CREATOR
By Mynona
Illustrations by Alfred Kubin

Translated, with an introduction, by Peter Wortsman
Afterword by Detlef Thiel

Billed by its author—the pseudonymous Mynona (German for “anonymous” backward)—as “the most profound magical experiment since Nostradamus,” The Creator tells the tale of Gumprecht Weiss, an intellectual who has withdrawn from a life of libertinage to pursue his solitary philosophical ruminations. At first dreaming and then actually encountering an enticing young woman named Elvira, Weiss discovers that she has escaped the clutches of her uncle, the Baron, who has been using her as a guinea pig in his metaphysical experiments. But the Baron catches up with them and persuades Gumprecht and Elvira to come to his laboratory, to engage in an experiment to bridge the divide between waking consciousness and dream by entering a mirror engineered to bend and blend realities. Mynona’s philosophical fable was described by the legendary German publisher Kurt Wolff as “a station farther on the imaginative train of thought of Hoffmann, Villiers, Poe, etc.,” when it appeared in 1920, with illustrations by Alfred Kubin (included here). With this first English-language edition, Wakefield Press introduces the work of a great forgotten German fabulist.
Mentioned in his day in the same breath as Kafka, Mynona, aka Salomo Friedlaender (1871–1946), was a perfectly functioning split personality: a serious philosopher by day (author of Friedrich Nietzsche: An Intellectual Biography and Kant for Kids) and a literary absurdist by night, who composed black humored tales he called Grotesken. His friends and fans included Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, and Karl Kraus.




THE CATHEDRAL OF MISTBy Paul Willems
Translated, with an introduction, by Edward Gauvin
Illustrations by Bette Burgoyne

First published in French in 1983, The Cathedral of Mist is a collection of short stories from the last of the great Francophone Belgian fantasists, distilled tales of distant journeys, buried memories, and impossible architecture. Described here are the emotionally disturbed architectural plan for a palace of emptiness; the experience of snowfall in a bed in the middle of a Finnish forest; the memory chambers that fuel the marvelous futility of the endeavor to write; and the beautiful woodland church, built of warm air currents and fog, scattering in storms and taking renewed shape at dusk, that gives this book its title. The Cathedral of Mist offers the sort of ethereal narratives that might have come from the pen of a sorrowful, distinctly Belgian Italo Calvino. It is accompanied by two meditative essays on reading and writing that fall in the tradition of Marcel Proust and Julien Gracq.
Paul Willems (1912–1997) published his first novel, Everything Here is Real, in 1941. Three more novels and, toward the end of his life, two collections of short stories bracketed his career as a playwright.
Press
“The pieces in The Cathedral of Mist are beautifully crafted, and very evocative, taking unusual turns with a natural ease that separates Willems from writers who much more willfully embrace the strange.”
—M. A. Orthofer, The Complete Review
“Simply breathtaking.”
—Monica Carter, Three Percent



These items, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday




Saturday, December 31, 2016

Closed for New Year's Day





Brickbat will be closing early today, Saturday, December 31st. 
We will be closed tomorrow January 1st, and Monday, January 2nd.
We will re-open Tuesday, January 3rd at 11am.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Featured: Tom Phillips' Humument




Tom Phillips, A Humument
1st Revised Edition, 1987


Kid #1 was recently asking what the deal was with that Humument book. Here's a copy of the First revised edition of Tom Phillips seminal book. New edition coming out in January!



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Closed For Thanksgiving




Brickbat will close at 2:30 on Wednesday, November 23rd. 
We will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24th,
and will re-open Friday at 11am. Happy Holiday!


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Event: Dovetail Down The House LAUNCH PARTY!




Saturday, Nov. 5th at 7pm
at
Brickbat Books:
Kallie Fallandays'
Dovetail Down The House
Book Launch

Dovetail Down The House LAUNCH PARTY!
http://burnsidereview.org/dovetail-down-the-house/

Kallie Falandays will be reading from her new book of poetry, "Dovetail Down The House"

Also reading will be:
Andres Cerpa
Colin Schmidt
Evan Gill Smith
Ariel Yelen

Praise for DOVETAIL DOWN THE HOUSE:
Dovetail Down the House
By Kallie Falandays
“I like the arrogant flick of love in these words. Tactile, muscled, and angry with desire, these poems reach for you. If you’re alone at the end of this book it’s because you dove from love’s edge and you have chosen your loneliness.”
—Emily Kendal Frey

“Techno-savvy though she is, Kallie Falandays loves paper (references to it frame Dovetail Down the House) but often it’s not poems on paper that remind me of her so much, but artwork: the fantastical, perspective-reorienting work of, say, Escher and Chagall. And from that intriguingly parallel universe, Falandays casts her eye back on our own, investigating the highs and lows of fever-heat passion so intensely, she could blister the wall paint off an Escher house and set Chagall’s winged goats and upside-down cows to dancing their hooves off. Watch out! ‘The wind./Coming to eat you.'”
—Albert Goldbarth

“This book tells me that letters on a page are the ghostly dust of one’s own body, ‘the opposite side of [one’s] skin.’ On these pages, an ocean bleeds its rain. On these pages, ‘we wolf the burn.’ When we flip one particular page’s table over, we can naughtily and hauntingly and sadly rub its legs. Dovetail Down the House is an essay on grief (in poems) and a haunted-house-opera (even though the book inquires about ‘the opposite of opera’) and a making of a lovely-as-lips body out of text, a zombie lover/a window in the mouth. Kallie Falandays writes, ‘Your face was dripping in my head all morning’ and I think that this is the most perfect articulation of grief and sadness and weight. And like Falandays, I deeply feel ‘the sadness of not being able to be nothing’ even as I revel in material reality: doorknobs and vampire movies and bedsheets and how ‘everyone everywhere is twirling their hair.'”
—Olivia Cronk

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Event: Lyuba Yakimchuk




This Saturday, Oct 29th
at 7pm
at
Brickbat Books:
Lyuba Yakimchuk
(Ukraine, author of Apricots of Donbas)



Lyuba Yakimchuk, a Ukrainian poet, screenwriter and journalist, was born in Pervomaisk, Luhansk oblast, Ukraine. She is the author of several full-length poetry collections, including Like FASHION and Apricots of Donbas, and the film script for The Building of the Word.

Ms. Yakimchuk has received many literary awards, including the International Slavic Poetic Award, the Bohdan-Ihor Antonych Prize and the Smoloskyp Prize, three of Ukraine’s most prestigious awards for young poets. She is the winner of the International Literary Contest "Coronation of the Word". Her poems have appeared in journals in Ukraine, USA, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Israel, Lithuania, and Belarus. Her poems have been translated into English, Swedish, German, French, Polish, Hebrew, Slovak, Lithuanian, Slovenian, Belarusian and Russian, and her essays into English and Swedish.

She performs in a musical and poetic duet with the Ukrainian double bass player Mark Tokar; their projects include Apricots of Donbas and Women, Smoke, and Dangerous Things. Her poetry has been performed by the singer Mariana Sadovska (Cologne) and improvised by vocalist Olesya Zdorovetska (Dublin).

Lyuba Yakimchuk also works as a cultural manager. She organized the "Semenko Year" project (2012) dedicated to the Ukrainian futurist writer Mykahil’ Semenko, and was curator for the literary programs Cultural Forum "Donkult" (2015, Lviv) and Cultural Forum “GaliciaKult” (2016, Kharkiv).

She lives in Kyiv. 


Readings will be in both Ukrainian and English.

Related Links:

http://www.wordswithoutborders.org/contributor/lyuba-yakimchuk

http://harriman.columbia.edu/event/contemporary-ukrainian-literature-series-decomposition-lyuba-yakimchuk

http://starylev.com.ua/abrykosy-donbasu

https://abrykosy-donbasu.bandcamp.com/

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Event: Mule Salon Poetry Tour with Justin Boening, Sarah Blake, Steven Kleinman & Elizabeth Scanlon



Friday, September 23rd at 7pm
at
Brickbat Books:
Mule Salon Poetry Tour


Enthusiasts of Philadelphia!

Meet up with Justin Boening as he moseys across the country in his VW Van (aka the Mule), reading from his debut, 'Not on the Last Day, but on the Very Last.'

In Philly, Boening joins raucous fellow thieves Sarah Blake, Steven Kleinman, and Elizabeth Scanlon, for a night of clarified confusion and wonderment!

Refreshments will be joining too!

7pm
Brickbat Books
709 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

SARAH BLAKE is the author of Mr. West, an unauthorized lyric biography of Kanye West, out with Wesleyan University Press. Named After Death, her first chapbook, is forthcoming from Banango Editions with an illustrated companion workbook. Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Threepenny Review, and many others. She was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship for poetry in 2013. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and son.

JUSTIN BOENING is the winner of the National Poetry Series for his debut collection, Not on the Last Day, but on the Very Last. He is also a recipient of a Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, a Bucknell University Stadler Fellowship, and a Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellowship for his chapbook, Self-Portrait as Missing Person. Boening’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Copper Nickel, Kenyon Review Online, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, and Narrative Magazine, among others. He’s a co-founding editor of Horsethief Books.

STEVEN KLEINMAN’s work has appeared in Devil’s Lake, The Collagist, Horsethief, and Hidden City Review. He lives in Philadelphia where he is a founding member of the Philadelphia Poetry Collaboration. He teaches at Drexel University and the Community College of Philadelphia and is the assistant editor at Saturnalia Books.

ELIZABETH SCANLON is the author of two chapbooks: The Brain Is Not the United States/The Brain Is the Ocean (The Head & The Hand Press, 2016) and Odd Regard (Ixnay Press, 2013). Her poems, for which she has received a Pushcart Prize, have appeared in many magazines including Boston Review, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Poetry London, and others. She is the Editor of The American Poetry Review and lives in Philadelphia.