Hours: Saturdays & Sundays 12-6 pm
Fridays by appointment only.
November in the Reading Room brings new and rare poetry and photography books just right for these early, dark evenings. Perhaps you’re tired of screens and screeds right about now. Or you may be on the lookout for a special gift for a special person. Something meaningful, something beautiful, something full of light. It’s what we long for. So I’ve filled the Reading Room with dozens of very special books for the long winter ahead.
New titles include Beacon resident Edwin Torres’ book of poetry, XoeteoX: the infinite word object, published by Wave Books, as well as the limited edition handmade artist book, Of What Is (above). Published on the occasion of Edwin’s reading at the Center for Book Arts on October 16, 2019, this multi-colored accordion book was printed with hand-set metal type that incorporates die-cut popups. Designed and printed by Roni Gross at the CBA/NYC in an edition of 100, each is signed and numbered by the poet. Edwin will be featured in a solo exhibition in Spring 2020 in the Reading Room, but meanwhile his books are available to be read or purchased here throughout the year.
Speaking of Wave Books, a limited number of copies from their Fall Bundle of poetry books are in stock. It includes titles by Timothy Donnelly, Prageeta Sharma, Rachel Zucker, Dorothea Lasky, a brand new edition of Maggie Nelson’s definitive work, Bluets, as well as one of my favorite poets, Mary Ruefle.
You can read all about the books here: https://www.wavepoetry.com/pages/fall-2019-bundle
Speaking of Mary Ruefle, she was just appointed Poet Laureate of the State of Vermont, and her 2019 Wave title Dunce, was long listed for the National Book Award in Poetry. She is also known for her amazing erasure poetry projects that are executed in old books altered to create new verse and image/text relationships. A facsimile copy of her An Incarnation of the Now, published by See Double Press, 2015 is also available.
One of my favorite photographers is Ronnie Farley of Beacon, and she has her photobooks stocked here, including signed copies of Women of the Native Struggle: Portraits and Testimony of Native American Women, and Cowgirls: Contemporary Portraits of the American West. Other titles in stock are her wonderful NYC street photographs in Diary of a Pedestrian: A New York Photo Memoir; New York Water Towers; and Ghost Plane, which documents the trails left behind in the atmosphere by jets flying over the Hudson Valley. There are various theories about them, but regardless, the plumes of vapor that mark the sky make an impression on anyone who sees them overhead. It’s a compelling little book.
You can read more about Ronnie and her work here: https://www.ronniefarley.com/index
And keep your eyes open around these parts for news of her upcoming open studio event at Beacon Lofts in December, where you can buy prints and perhaps get your portrait taken.
If you missed, or miss Melissa McGill’s site-specific Constellation project that was installed on nearby Bannerman Island from 2015-2017, you can revisit it in the companion book published by Princeton Architectural Press. It’s an extension and artifact of the project that allows us to experience this site through “a visual and literary dialogue between Melissa McGill and several celebrated writers and poets, using the artwork as a springboard for inspiration and collaboration.” If you’re not familiar with Constellation, this was a large-scale sculptural project that was installed around the ruins of Bannerman’s Castle on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River. “Every evening, as the sun went down, starry lights emerged one by one with the stars of the night sky, creating a new constellation, connecting past and present through this light-based public art project. There were 17 points of light using solar powered LEDs installed on the top of aluminum posts ranging in height from 40 to 80 feet, giving the appearance of each light floating seamlessly in the night sky.”
You can read more about Melissa’s projects here, including her recent Red Regatta, set in Venice Italy: https://www.melissamcgillartist.com
For those seeking unusual poetry or photography books for their collection or as a gift, a number of noteworthy rare and out-of-print books are in stock. There are titles from from England, Spain, Japan, and our own back yard in New York State. Published by small and indie presses that took a chance on a great project, most are now sold out and rare. I always keep my eyes on these publishers and take a chance too, by acquiring a few copies each in early support of a project I admire, and end up holding copies of what has become a beloved and valuable book. I have one or two each to sell, so if you want to view some of these special editions, come in and ask me to show you what’s available. There are too many books on the shelves to list, so visit and browse. And don’t forget that there are always books about poetry, book arts and photography that are not for sale or circulation, but are available for anyone who wants to take the time to read. You’re always welcome to do so and thank you for visiting.