Here we are in the Dark Place - deep in the shadow of Thanksgiving, with the dread of holiday gift-giving creeping closer every day. Not to mince words, but we at SPD are, er,  kind of depressed. We're sure you are too! 

So obviously, we've choosen this time to wish you, our valued readers, a very Happy Solstice!

In a misguided attempt to make things aggressively better this holiday season, each SPD staff member has chosen a box their all time favorite SPD books that we offer to you at a sweet discount. Whether a single copy or a full box, all of these books are now: 

  30% off
w/ code MAGIC

  Not any into any of the books in any of our individually designed boxes? Not to worry - check out our Mystery Box option - 4lbs of UNNAMED SPD TITLES for just $10.

 Do note that these are NOT staff boxes, but simply a collection of miscellaneous SPD books. 

The Mystery Box

4 lbs of Books for $10

  So cheer the hell up! If we, your loyal and determined SPD elves, can drag ourselves out of our own small and sordid depressions, to bring you some sparkly holiday book magic, then you can too!

Sending big love this holiday season, from us to you.


 PLEASE NOTE: to buy each staff member's box, you have to add all 8 books individually to your cart and apply the discount w/ code MAGIC. 

  Jeffrey's Box
Brent's Box
Jane's Box
Janice's Box
Trisha's Box
John's Box
Johnny's Box
Nich's Box
E's Box
Jacq's Box
Ari's Box
Liam's Box
Shiloh's Box



Feeling a need to get away? Sure you do. Here are some books to meditate on, to take refuge in, think more deeply from, escape with... clutched tightly under an arm with comfy blanket, thermos of chamomile tea and biscotti at the ready? 

John Cage Visual Art: To Sober and Quiet the Mind

(Crown Point Press, 2001)
By Kathan Brown

Nilling: Prose

(BookThug, 2012)
By Lisa Robertson

MacArthur Park

(Nightboat Books, 2017)
By Andrew Durbin

Sixty Morning Walks

(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014)
By Andy Fitch

The Supposium: Thought Experiments & Poethical Play in Difficult Times

(Litmus Press, 2018)
By Joan Retallack, Editor

Writings for the Oulipo

(Make Now Press, 2005)
By Ian Monk

States Of The Art: Selected Essays, Interviews, and Other Prose, 1975-2014

(Pressed Wafer, 2017)
By Charles North

The Dynamic Library: Organizing Knowledge at the Sitterwerk-Precedents and Possibilities

(Soberscove Press, 2015)
By Ariane Roth and Marina Schutz, Editors


I'm not sure what knots these books together--maybe nothing! I've been reading a lot of works that rely on stripped down imagery, an accessible lexicon, and an old-fashioned belief in the revolutionary potential of the lyrical (the Hilda Hilst in one way, the Kate Greenstreet in another, the Ann Jaderlund in yet another). The Betsy Fagin I dug up after reading the new Letters to the Future anthology everyone is reading and realizing I had missed her book when it came through SPD--probably it's old to a lot of people but to me it feels like a "find" right now, she's amazingly talented. The Diana Hamilton feels terribly urgent and is so terrifically done on so many levels, and Joel Bettridge's refreshing book might help restore your faith in dialogue among poets and communities just a tad. Then there's the Micheal Cross book which like some kind of pseudo-modernist sound-collage: if you like your emotional vulnerability to be nearly impenetrable check it out (Michael's a friend, he'll get over that description). Then why not finish with some merry ecological-and-political-apocalypse stuff to celebrate the season in's Allison Cobb's reissued Green-Wood, a modern classic for real! 

Of Death. Minimal Odes

(co-im-press, 2018)
By Laura Cesarco Eglin (Translator), Hilda Hilst

The End of Something

(Ahsahta Press, 2017)
By Kate Greenstreet

Which Once Had Been Meadow

(Black Square Editions, 2017)
By Johannes Goransson (Translator), Ann Jaderlund 

All Is Not Yet Lost

(Belladonna*, 2015)
By Betsy Fagin

God Was Right

(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018)
By Diana Hamilton

The Katechon: Book One

(Compline, 2018)
By Michael Cross

The Public Life of Chemistry

(The Cultural Society, 2018)
By Joel Bettridge


(Nightboat Books, 2018)
By Allison Cobb


These books have changed my mind constitutionally, how it works and doesn't, in 2018 or again and again. They are books that have helped it be ok to have one (a mind). They are wonders, all of them, and theirs is an improbable and complicated joy.  

Reason and Other Women

(Chax Press, 2010)
By Alice Notley

Notebooks, 1956-1978

(Litmus Press, 2003)
By Danielle Collobert

Four Year Old Girl

(Kelsey Street Press, 1998)
By Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Women in Public

City Lights Publishers
By Elaine Kahn

Don't Let Them See Me Like This

(Nightboat Books, 2018)
By Jasmine Gibson

Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, Series VII

(The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2018)
By Lorde, Bambara, Jordan, Forbes, Blackburn, et al

The Poet Is a Little God: Creationist Verse

(Xenos Books, 1990)
By Vicente Huidobro

In the Common Dream of George Oppen

(Shearsman Books, 2011)
By Joseph Bradshaw


These are books that make my heart ache, and when my heart aches, they are often a salve. They are books that keep me company, books that unpack but also complicate systems and selves, books that travel. They ask me to hold on, to look, to listen, to do better.

Sympathetic Little Monster

(Ricochet Editions, 2016)
By Cameron Awkward-Rich


(The Operating System, 2015)
By Amanda Ngoho Reavey

Silent Anatomies

(Kore Press, 2015)
By Monica Ong


(Bull City Press, 2016)
By Tiana Clark

What Runs Over

(YesYes Books, 2017)
By Kayleb Rae Candrilli

Poor Anima

(Apogee Press, 2015)
By Khaty Xiong

Silver Road: Maps, Essays and Calligraphies

(Tupelo Press, 2018)
By Kazim Ali

Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989

(A Midsummer Night's Press, 2018)
By Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, and Julie R Enszer (Ed.)


With the year we've had, we want something new, or at least something to hold us or destroy us or both. This year, I've felt braced by the particularities of these books - felt cushioned by affective architecture, excited by imaginary blueprints for some supernatural life, lifted by the sweet banality in 3 minute noodles, shocked at the suspense of an autobiographical account of s/m witchery, and so much more. 

The Strange World of Willie Seabrook

(Spurl Editions, 2017)
By Marjorie Muir Worthington

Prose Architectures

(Wave Books, 2017)
By Renee Gladman

Live in Seattle

(Fonograf Editions, 2017)
By Alice Notley

Body of Work

(Cordite Books, 2018)
By Elena Gomez

Stone's Throw

(Secretary Press, 2016)
By David Deitcher

White Blight

(Argos Books, 2015)
By Athena Farrokhzad

Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, Series II

The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY
By di Prima, Duncan, Randall, Rukeyser, Spicer

Costume en Face: A Primer of Darkness for Young Boys and Girls

(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015)
By Tatsumi Hijikata


These are my top 8 SPD books read in 2018, they have nothing in common besides distribution, well, 1 thing they have in common is that I read them all in the morning in bed with coffee, I liked some more than others but for the sake of diplomacy I won't say which ones, the order of listing here has nothing to do with the order of "likeness," I'm not sure why we went with Top 8 and not Top 10, if we did Top 10 I might have also included Bay Poetics (if only for Chris Stroffolino's contrarian bio, Stroffolino does not care about your bullshit poetry), and Terminal Humming by K. Lorraine Graham (nothing really to say, a great book). Kill the internet, read books, sleep well, drink wine, go for a run.  

The Collages of Helen Adam

(Further Other Book Works / Cuneiform Press, 2017)
By Helen Adam (Author) and Alison Fraser (Editor)

This Isa Nice Neighborhood

(Letter Machine Editions, 2010)
By Farid Matuk

From Our Hearts to Yours: New Narrative as Contemporary Practice

(ON Contemporary Practice, 2017)
By Rob Halpern & Robin Tremblay-McGaw, Editors

The Four Seasons

(Wonder, 2018)
By Brandon Brown

Nakedness Is My End: Poems from the Greek Anthology

(World Poetry Books, 2018)
By Edmund Keeley, Editor

Nothing Happened and Besides I Wasn't There

(Edge Books, 1997)
By Mark Wallace

The Front

(Roof Books, 2009)
By K Silem Mohammad

Secrets of My Prison House

(BlazeVOX books, 2010)
By Geoffrey Gatza


Thse are all books and authors who feels as though they are screaming out to be felt, heard and engaged with deeply. These are all selections that need to be read over and over to better connect with something passionate within ourselves. These are all modern classics to me. 

Baby, I Don't Care

(Wave Books, 2018)
By Chelsey Minnis

Last Psalm at Sea Level

(Barrow Street Press, 2014)
By Meg Day


(Ahsahta Press, 2014)
By Michelle Detorie


(O Books, 2003)
By kari edwards

How Phenomena Appear to Unfold

(Litmus Press, 2011)
By Leslie Scalapino

The Men

(BookThug, 2006)
By Lisa Robertson

Love, Robot

The Operating System
By Margaret Rhee

Coeur de Lion

(Fence Books, 2011)
By Ariana Reines 


  Capitalism sucks. Yet, here we are. On a sale page. Having the best time ever.

Snail Poems

(Krupskaya, 2016)
By Eric Sneathen

The Arcane of Reproduction: Housework, Prostitution, Labor and Capital

(Autonomedia, 1989)
By Leopoldina Fortunati

The Market Wonders

(Ahsahta Press, 2016)
By Susan Briante

Mount Carmel & The Blood Of Parnassus

(Monster House Press, 2017)
By Anais Duplan

The Weather

(New Star Books, 2001)
By Lisa Robertson


(Edge Books, 2014)
By Chris Nealon

Anti-Humboldt: A Reading of the North American Free Trade Agreement

(Litmus Press/Aldus Editorial, 2015)
By Hugo Garcia Manriquez

Clap For Me That's Not Me

(Rescue Press, 2018)
By Paola Capo-Garcia



Something Old! Something New! Something Borrowed! Something Blue!  Isn't that what they always say about things like this?  

(Iceberg Projects Press,2018)
Edited by Daniel S Berger 

By Dawn Lundy Martin 

(Wave Books,2013)
By Mario Santiago Papasquiaro 
(Soberscove Press, 2018)
Edited by Marie Warsh & Max Warsh

(City Lights, 2012) 
By Julian Talamantez Brolaski
(Copper Canyon Press,2018)
By C D Wright
Suite for Barbara Loden 
(Dorothy, a publishing project, 2016)
by Nathalie Leger 
Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation 
(Autonomedia, 2004)
By Silvia Federici  

The 8 titles in this box feel electric with creative risk, pushing open the possibilities for the kinds of truths and anti-truths that can be told through writing. Conventional notions of form and voice are purposefully cracked into, whether through a new writer's first poems, as with Alejandra Pizarnik's The Most Foreign Country, or through Aichlee Bushnell's aching, persona hybrid Objects of Attention. These passionate books remind me that some of the most important work comes from taking uncompromising bounds into our darknesses, our yearning. 

The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa

(Canarium Books, 2015)
By Chika Sagawa

Objects of Attention

(Noemi Press, 2015)
By Aichlee Bushnell

The Awful Truth

(Golias Books, 2017)
By Diana Hamilton

The Most Foreign Country

(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017)
By Yvette Siegert (Translator), Alejandra Pizarnik


(Noemi Press, 2013)
By Shane McCrae

My Enemies

(The Song Cave, 2013)
By Jane Gregory

I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On

(YesYes Books, 2017)
By Khadijah Queen

They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing

(Black Lawrence Press, 2018)
By S. Muench, D. Rader, S. Ashton, & J. White, Editors


For the pleasures of perception at the macro and the granular micro. For when language doubles on itself and opens out. For the transformation of one element into another. For obsession. For feminist revenge fantasies. For the icy slap of perspective. For the shock of being seen. For mundanity. For lust.    

New and Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña
(Kelsey Street Press, 2018)
by Cecilia Vicuña, ed. Rosa Alcala

 ever really hear it
(Subito Press, 2018)
By Soham Patel

(Futurepoem Books, 2012)
by Frances Richard

(Birds, LLC, 2018)
by Chase Berggrun

In The Heart of the Heart of Another Country

(City Lights, 2005)
By Etel Adnan


(BookThug, 2014)
by Aisha Sasha John

Before Lyricism
(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017)
By Eleni Vakalo, tr. Karen Emmerich 

The Mausoleum of Lovers: Journals 1976-1991
(Nightboat Books, 2014)
 By Hervé Guibert tr. Nathanaël 



 Looking back on 2018 - not a day going by without some new terror, new caging - I found, or came back to, these books pushing up against borders and boundaries - at country's edge and within neighborhoods, family, language. Poet Celina Su's got this poem I keep thinking about, and it goes: "We put down these lines ... We meant it only / as a quirk, a splash of color, a tribute to an old flame, / our fingerprints, our football rivalries, our silent aspirations." Maybe next year we pick back up those lines, gone them, but keep the quirk, the color, and get better.


(Belladonna*, 2018)
By Celina Su


(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012)
By Catherine Taylor


(Copper Canyon Press, 2017)
By Javier Zamora


(Counterpath Press, 2011)
By giovanni singleton

Litany for the Long Moment

(Essay Press, 2018)
By Mary-Kim Arnold

The Edge of Fruitvale

(Nomadic Press, 2018)
By Rohan DaCosta


(Roof Books, 2016)
By Susan Landers

Lo terciario / The Tertiary

(Timeless, Infinite Light, 2018)
By Raquel Salas Rivera


 These are all books that straight up changed my life. Like me, these books are mercurial, they won't settle down into one form or another, won't stop deteriorating & regenerating, giving, refusing, learning, unlearning etc. i almost always look for books that will break me open, so i can't go on living like i was anymore. i wake up & i see the trees unlike ive ever seen them. i long for help shattering, just to meticulously reassemble an entirely different me. if you're into this type of thing, i highly recommend any & all of these books.

Your Healing is Killing Me

(Plays Inverse Press, 2017)
By Virginia Grise


(YesYes Books, 2018)
By jamie mortara

The Books to Come

(Cuneiform Press, 2012)
By Alan Loney


(O Books, 1998)
By Sianne Ngai

No Dictionary of a Living Tongue

(Nightboat Books, 2017)
By Duriel E Harris

The Surrender

(Anomalous Press, 2016)
By Veronica Scott Esposito

What Is?: Nine Epistemological Essays

(Cuneiform Press, 2013)
By Johanna Drucker

Of Mongrelitude

Wave Books
By Julian Talamantez Brolaski



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