Just for one second, let's think about all the summer activities people assume are fun. Languishing in the sun, swimming in large bodies of water, picnicing outside, sure, that all sounds great. Until you get out of school, or you finish college, and you realize you're stuck at home with nothing to do, or at least, no money to do it, drinking PBRs and scrolling through everyone else's glamorous vacation instagram with your stepdad on the couch. Summer love sounds fun too, but did you ever have a seasonal fling that didn't end in some kind of devastating heartbreak and one or two ruined-for-life friendships? And need we even mention the sunburn?
Yeah, it's summer again, and as much as we'd like to be excited about it, 2018 has proven to us that we have nothing to look forward to. Instead, we're going to wallow in our ennui - and you can too! Here are some sad summer books to help you out while you do.
20% off
w/code SAD 
hanging at home with stepdad
He's not your real dad he's your stepdad and he's unemployed and he is trying to bond with you. Pick up some of these titles and brush up on dated rock facts, politics, and disappointment so you have something to talk about with the stepdad in your life.
(New Star Books, 2018)
By Charles Ulrich
(Nomadic Press, 2017)
By Julian Shendelman
(New Star Press, 2017)
By Francis Dupuis-Deri and Thomas Deri
(Barrelhouse Books, 2015)
By Erica Lewis
(Sagging Meniscus Press, 2017)
By Charles Holdefer
Hapless Males
(Ithuriel's Spear, 2017)
By Richard Schwarzenberger
(Lummox Press, 2017)
By Bill Gainer
 7-11 hotdogs & bud lite lime
You know what's great about summer? Pepto Bismol. Summer is the season of bad food decisions. We see you over there with your second 7-11 hotdog and third Bud Lite Lime. Which is cool and all, but you can't even ENJOY these bad food decisions because you're too busy standing around some friend of a friend's creepy uncle's backyard pool trying to drown out the awkward silence of multiple introductory conversations by desperately funneling overly-mayonnaised macaroni salad into your mouth. No one should ever have to stress eat macaroni salad while thinking of something interesting to say to an acquaintance's second cousin. Ever.   
(Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016)
By Debora Kuan
(Coconut Books, 2012)
By Jenny Boully
(Argos Books, 2015)
By Montana Ray
(Nightboat Books, 2018)
By Wayne Koestenbaum
(Fence Books, 2012)
By Hannah Gamble
(Edge Books, 1999)
By Buck Downs
(Verse Press/Wave Books, 2000)
By Joe Wenderoth
Salt Is For Curing
(Sator Press, 2015)
By Sonya Vatomsky

summers are ruff
At least animals are great during summer, right? OH WAIT. Summer is the season where puppies are left in hot cars and tied to poles for extended periods of time, slowly succumbing to the brutal heat with only the pain of neglect and sorrow in their hearts. Way to go, humanity.
(Action Books, 2013)
By Tytti Heikkinen
(Edition Solitude, 2016)
By Dan Boehl
(Belladonna*, 2015)
By Tonya M Foster
Remembering Animals
(Nightboat Books, 2016)
By Brenda Iijima

(Autonomedia, 2010)
By John Farris
(Krupskaya, 2009)
By Michelle Rollman
(Fence Books, 2006)
By Ariana Reines
(YesYes Books, 2015)
By Emily O'Neill

unpaid internships
 The worst thing about being a young person with any kind of energy is that people assume that if you're not doing anything, then you should get a job. "Get a job!" they yell at you, when they see you walking across the street. "What a delinquent," they screech, when they see you buying hash browns at the grocery store. So, in a desperate attempt not to get yelled at, you find a summer internship - maybe at a paper company, maybe at a lawyer's office - but because capitalism, no one can pay you. Which means you got a job without actually having a job i.e. money for labor. Also probably you're still being yelled at. 
(Gramma Poetry, 2017)
By Sarah Galvin
(Burning Deck, 2012)
By Sarah Riggs
(Invisible Publishing, 2017)
By Jeremy Hanson-Finger
(Subpress, 2012)
By Laura Jaramillo
(Host Publications, 2006)
By Mario Benedetti, trans. Harry Morales
(Nightboat Books, 2014)
By Dawn Lundy Martin
(Tupelo Press, 2017)
By Grant Souders
(Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013)
By Wendy Xu

teenage mall rat
  Some are seeking a relief from boredom and Judge judy reruns. Some are lining their pockets with belly button jewlery shoplifted from Claire's. Some just really like the air conditioning. No matter their reasons teens love the mall and here are some titles that will take you back to the food court.
(Metatron, 2015)
by Oscar d'Artois
(BookThug, 2016)
By Joni Murphy
(WriteGirl Publications, 2017)
By Keren Taylor, Editor
(Saturnalia Books, 2015)
By Sandra Simonds
(Eyewear Publishing, 2016)
By Oliver Jones
(Barrelhouse Books, 2014)
By Justin Marks

 Everyone misses the sun in winter. Or at least, that's what you think - until the the beast of climate change bears down on you with all the solar force of 100 degrees farenheit and your skin starts to literally boil itself away from your flesh. In other words, sunburn. Aloe vera or not, this peely painful mass rubbing against your clothes is more than enough reason for some summer ennui.
(Wolfman Books, 2016)
By Meagan Day
Cruel Futures
(City Lights Publishers, 2018)
By Carmen Gimenez Smith
At Night on the Sun
(Chax Press, 2017)
By Will Alexander
(Rescue Press, 2018)
By Philip Sorenson
Luminous Debris: New & Selected Legerdemain 1992-2017
(Barrow Street Press, 2018)
By Timothy Liu
travel instagram
Okay so imagine this - you're at work, where all the walls of your cubicle are some shade of bland - maybe beige, probably gray, and if you're lucky some kind of blue. It's sunny outside but you won't see the light of day for at least another 3 hours when the workday's over. You reach for your phone to find some respite on instagram and all you see are pictures of your friends who get to experience Real Summer on the French Riviera, or in Brazil with some llamas, or at the very least in Olympia with some baby goats. And then when you can finally bear to put your phone away, you're still in your dumb gray office. Some summer, amirite?
The Four Seasons
(Wonder, 2018)
By Brandon Brown
Baroni, a Journey
(Almost Island Books, 2017)
By Sergio Chejfec, trans. Margaret Carson
(Noemi Press, 2013)
By Sarah Vap
(Wonder, 2018)
By Ariana Reines
The Obvious Earth
(Carville Annex Press, 2017)
By Nabil Kashyap
The Classical World
(IF SF Publishing, 2018)
By Thomas Fuller
The Edge of Europe
(Action Books, 2007)
By Pentti Saarikoski
summer love / flings / internet dating

"Damn, love or lust," wonders Kendrick. Summer days are long and summer nights are way too short to waste on sleep. Through ill-advised & heatstroke inspired right swipes, through "looking?", through delirium and into pining, through the friendships that come thru when, as Dolly sings, "it's all wrong but it's all right," these titles will see you through a hot fling and well into its aftermath(s).
(Magic Helicopter Press, 2017)
By Rex Renee Leonowicz
(Action Books, 2016)
By Kim Hyesoon
(Future Tense Books, 2017)
By Tatiana Ryckman
(Birds, LLC, 2017)
By Ana Bozicevic
(Nightboat Books, 2016)
By Maged Zaher
(Letter Machine Editions, 2018)
By John Yau
(Copper Canyon Press, 2014)
By Olena Kalytiak Davis
(A Midsummer Night's Press, 2018)
By Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, and Julie R Enszer (Ed.)
(Nightboat Books, 2014)
By Herve Guibert, trans. Nathanaël
(Presses Universitaires de Rouen, 2014)
By Alice Notley
(Nightboat Books, 2017)
By Alli Warren
Whether you're spending more time swimming laps or mediating on the liminal space between land and water that is the beach these titles are great company. Caution! NOT WATERPROOF!!!!
(Talisman House Publishers, 2015)
By Jason Weiss
(Lithic Press, 2017)
By Sam Roxas-Chua
(Cross-Cultural Communications / Korean Expatriate Literature, 2017)
By Yoon Soo Park, trans. Eunwha Choe
(In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni, 2011)
By Vivek Narayanan

(Black Lawrence Press, 2018)
By Jen Michalski
(Sand Paper Press, 2017)
By Arlo Haskell
(Inanna Publications, 2017)
By Ami Sands Brodoff
cancer, leo, virgo - summer astro signs

From the deeply feeling, the radiant, and the perfect: books from but a fraction of a hair of some of our beloved Cancers, Leos, and Virgos (& no, Geminis are not a summer sign sorrrrryyy)!

(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012)
by Cecilia Vicuña
(Copper Canyon Press, 2007)
By June Jordan
(Roof Books, 2012)
By Brandon Brown
(North Point Press, 1985)
By Leslie Scalapino
(City Lights Publishers, 1972)
By Allen Ginsberg
(Leon Works, 2008)
By Fred Moten

(Edge Books, 2012)
By Dana Ward
(Argos Books, 2015)
By Athena Farrokhza, trans. Jennifer Hayashida
(Singing Horse Press, 1998)
By Rosmarie Waldrop

summertime sadness
Lana Del Rey's classic Summertime Sadness - butchered across the country in dingy karaoke rooms, where floors are slathered with beer, and walls packed full of sweaty, tipsy poets who will inevitably make the terrible decision to hook up with their collaborator / best friend / best friend's partner / partner's best friend at the end of this terrible midsummer night...
Lana Del Rey: Her Life in 94 Songs about Love, Sex and Death
(Eyewear Publishing, 2016)
By F.A. Mannan
Dear Angel of Death
(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018)
By Simone White
A Bestiary
(Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2016)
By Lily Hoang
Dream Machine
(co-im-press, 2014)
By Sade Murphy
Third-Millennium Heart
(Action Books / Broken Dimanche Press, 2017)
By Ursula Andkjaer Olsen, trans. Katrine Ogaard Jensen
(Birds, LLC, 2018)
By Chase Berggrun
books to combat learning loss

 Turns out summer is the season of not living up to your full potential. As explained by Wikipedia: "For over a century, scholars have recognized that summer vacation is a period when students' rate of academic development declines relative to the school year. All children lose academic skills during the summer months, and family socioeconomic status (SES) is highly correlated to the level of academic growth or decline in the summer months." The average loss of knowledge is roughly 1 month's worth, but it can be more than double that for low-income students, casting a long achievement shadow that they can then feel cold and alone in.

"But Whitney Houston said that children are our future!," you gasp to yourself. Whitney Houston was right (duh). The children *are* our future. Summer just happens to be the season where our future loses. But yay eating snowcones on the beach or whatever, amirite?

NOT ON OUR WATCH. Statistics are the WORST and who cares, it's summer so we've forgotten how to do statistics already anyways. Our only option left is to combat summer learning loss with awesome books that everyone everywhere would want to read. So hurry! Read! Read like a whole month of your brain depended on it! Here are a few titles to give hope to the future: 

(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014)
By Robert Fitterman
(Bull City Press, 2017)
By Anne Valente
A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet
(Aunt Lute Books, 2012)
By Judy Grahn 
(Wave Books, 2016)
By Renee Gladman 
(Seoul Selection, 2017)
By Irene Schokker, Lauren Kies, and Rachel van den Berg 
beach goth
 If yr on SPD's website there's a chance that this is a redundancy but let's get into it anyway ur on the beach and the ferocious sun is cracking yr black lipstick and ur unnatural hair keeps getting into ur mouth as u stare past the pithy volleyball bros and lifeguards and waves towards an imagined abyss past the horizon mourning the loss of American Apparel and contemplating some poetry or experimental fiction yeah this is for u.
Elegy For My Beat Generation
(Lithic Press, 2018)
By Neeli Cherkovski 
AT the Edge OF the Sea: Pushing Water II
(Singing Horse Press, 2018)
By Charles Alexander 
(Rose Metal Press, 2018)
By Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar 
(Hanging Loose Press, 2018)
By R Hershon, D Lourie, and M Pawlak, Editors 
(National Poetry Foundation, 2017)
By Helen Adam 

well we're not picking sides in some kinda east coast west coast rivalry but we do love ourselves some california i mean even people who aren't from it have concocted a romantic image and knocked it back so let's take a moment to appreciate all the wonderful works this wonderful state has churned out and the california its people know and love
(Wolfman Books, 2018)
By Daniel Benjamin and Eric Sneathen, Editors 
For the Hard Ones/Para las duras
(A Midsummer Night's Press, 2018)
By tatiana de la tierra 
Century of Clouds
(Nightboat Books, 2009)
By Bruce Boone 
(Future Tense Books, 2014)
By Wendy C Ortiz 
(Krupskaya, 2013)
By Stephanie Young 
Writers Who Love Too Much

(Nightboat Books, 2017)
By Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian, Editors
(Howling Bird Press, 2015)
By Marci Vogel 
(Zephyr Press, 2006)
By Jean Day 

baseball and other awkward dude bonding 
just recall: ur avuncular figure approaches u and in some performative and painfully masculine attempt at bonding invites u out on the body of water nearest u and u have a lovely day chock full of "just shootin the shit" which means communicating in grunts and learning sports jargon u never wanted to kno and having to not place ur eyes in a compromising position like u get the lovely choice of staring into the sweating and colorless beady eyes of ur pseudo paternal figure or the equally alien eyes of the fish remember no matter who u look at in that situtation the resultant conversation would be uncanny as all get out well now we're giving u the out of looking at these books instead! we're here for u in that time of need
(Invisible Publishing, 2016)
By Andrew Forbes 
(Sagging Meniscus Press, 2017)
By Kurt Luchs 
(Astrophil Press, 2009)
By Keith Abbott

 The Big Note: A Guide to the Recordings of Frank Zappa

(New Star Books, 2018)
By Charles Ulrich
(Canarium Books, 2018)
By Kit Schluter (Translator), Anne Kawala 

So there are a million poems that go estival cicada buzz languor of memories of dusk or something equally pleasant and pastoral and but what they forgot to tell u about those cicadas is that they are a terrifying blanket and the mosquitoes are eating you alive while ur conceiving ur lyric poem in a moleskine on the exposed porch and u flee inside to observe through a dirty window pane at least no bugs right oh jesus what is that fly back thru the hole in the screen door my god why does it have wings what does it do with all those legs no nope nope absolutely nope no nope not at all nope nah denied nope nope nope
(Dos Madres Press, 2018)
By Carol Alexander
(Big Lucks Books, 2018)
By Sarah Jean Alexander 
(Krupskaya, 2016)
By Eric Sneathen 
(Brooklyn Arts Press, 2018)
By Joe Fletcher 
(Belladonna*, 2015)
By Tonya M Foster 
(Edge Books, 2018)
By Jordan Davis 
road trips decidedly unlike on the road
 Yeah sure lots of people love Kerouac and don't get me wrong who doesn't like explosive prosody but when a man tells me his favorite book is on the road sirens start going off in my head at the very least that's a conversation he's going to have at you while ur probably backed into a literal corner so here's some badass women writers who do it better than Jack and won't force you to valorize their causa sui post-adolescent angst
(C&R Press, 2018)
By D Weatherford, R Reisner, NR Stuart, V Tomaselli, & BW Cook 
(Station Hill Press of Barrytown, 2001)
By Gertrude Stein 
(A Strange Object, 2018)
By Rita Bullwinkel 
(YesYes Books, 2017)
By Khadijah Queen 
(Inanna Publications, 2017)
By Mariam Pirbhai 
(Nightboat Books & SplitLevel Texts, 2017)
By Bernadette Mayer 
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