Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Copies left the post office this morning. If you have never received our print catalog and would like to, or if you would like to download its pdf, please click here.
Feliĉan Novan Jaron!

Feliĉan Novan Jaron!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Keith Waldrop on Radio Open Source

National Book Award winner Keith Waldrop in conversation with Christopher Lydon.

To listen, click here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Click here to read an excerpt from Raymond Federman's SHHH: THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD (coming early next year from Starcherone Books) in the new Fiction Issue of Vice Magazine.

Raymond Federman
$18 | paper | 264 pp.
Starcherone Books
Fiction. Jewish Studies. "Shhh, murmured my mother. And the first thirteen years of my life vanished into the darkness of that third floor closet." On a July morning in 1942, Raymond Federman's childhood ended, as his parents and two sisters were arrested by collaborationist French police and sent to their deaths at Auschwitz, with Raymond alone evading capture. In SHHH, his final novel, Federman reconstructs this childhood out of fragments, speculations, and doubtful recollections—the stories of a lost life, enmeshed with a history that can never be forgotten.  LINK

"Federman is inarguably one of the most significant vanguard writers of the second half of the twentieth century and first years of the twenty-first."
—Lance Olsen

Friday, December 18, 2009


Matvei Yankelevich
$14 | paper | 142 pp.
Octopus Books
Poetry. Matvei Yankelevich's first full-length book, BORIS BY THE SEA, is a work of existential theater that destroys the distance between puppeteer and puppet, between ego and id, between what is real and what is absurd. Consisting of prose, poems, and plays, the book creates its own world and then confronts the loneliness of having to exist within one's own creation. Like Daniil Kharms, Yankelevich has written a children's book for only the bravest of adults.  LINK

"Boris is a precarious creature thrown into a world he is ill-suited for—a bit like Monsieur Plume and other relatives. The world was 'somewhere inside his skull. And it hurt.' These poems and dramatic sketches, however, delight even when they hurt."
—Rosmarie Waldrop

"BORIS BY THE SEA was born when Aesop was reading Chekhov, and Chekhov was reading Nietzsche, and Nietzsche was watching The Brother From Another Planet. Actually Matvei Yankelevich wrote this book, but 'wrote' is incomplete... he seems more to inhabit this stateless, beautiful being who uses language to move his body or erase the sea: 'Boris looked over himself and realized there were many parts of him that he could not see. And only a small part of these parts was on the surface.' BORIS BY THE SEA could be a children's fable if it weren't so freakin' real, unreal, hyper-real: 'But people need each other to open each other up and see what is inside.' This is Boris—and he, like Pinnochio—has a clever master."
—Robert Fitterman


  1. FACE by Sherman Alexie (Hanging Loose Press)
  2. BREAKING POEMS by Suheir Hammad (Cypher Books)
  3. ZAATARDIVA by Suheir Hammad (Cypher Books)
  4. THE MAN SUIT by Zachary Schomburg (Black Ocean)
  5. CLAMPDOWN by Jennifer Moxley (Flood Editions)
  6. THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE THE MOON SAYS I LOVE YOU by Frank Stanford (Lost Roads Publishers)
  7. YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM by Tao Lin (Action Books)
  8. RADI OS by Ronald Johnson (Flood Editions)
  9. SCARY, NO SCARY by Zachary Schomburg (Black Ocean)
  10. HUMANIMAL: A PROJECT FOR FUTURE CHILDREN by Bhanu Kapil (Kelsey Street Press)
  11. THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING by Sherman Alexie (Hanging Loose)
  12. FOUR LETTER WORDS by Truong Tran (Apogee Press)
  13. THE LAST 4 THINGS by Kate Greenstreet (Ahsahta Press)
  14. NIGHT SCENES by Lisa Jarnot (Flood Editions)
  15. CASE SENSITIVE by Kate Greenstreet (Ahsahta Press)
  17. FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY by Craig Santos Perez (Tinfish Press)
  18. TO AFTER THAT (TOAF) by Renee Gladman (Atelos)
  19. FALLING ANGELS: CUENTOS Y POEMAS by Olga García Echeverría (Calaca Press/Chibcha Press)
  20. PINK ELEPHANT by Rachel McKibbens (Cypher Books)
  21. NETS by Jen Bervin (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  22. THE GOLDEN AGE OF PARAPHERNALIA by Kevin Davies (Edge Books)
  24. INCUBATION: A SPACE FOR MONSTERS by Bhanu Kapil (Leon Works)
  25. EUNOIA by Christian Bök (Coach House Books)
  26. PUBLIC DOMAIN by Mónica de la Torre (Roof Books)
  27. THE SOUND MIRROR by Andrew Joron (Flood Editions)
  28. THE BOOK OF FRANK by CAConrad (Chax Press)
  29. MAXIMUM GAGA by Lara Glenum (Action Books)
  30. THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS edited by Judith Kitchen and Ted Kooser (Anhinga Press)
  31. NEW DEPTHS OF DEADPAN by Michael Gizzi (Burning Deck)
  32. NECESSARY STRANGER by Graham Foust (Flood Editions)
  33. ACTION KYLIE by Kevin Killian (ingirumimusnocteetcomsumimurigni)
  34. LISA ROBERTSON'S MAGENTA SOUL WHIP by Lisa Robertson (Coach House Books)
  35. WITH DEER by Aase Berg (Black Ocean)
  36. POETICAL DICTIONARY (ABRIDGED) by Lohren Green (Atelos)
  37. SHIMMING THE GLASS HOUSE by Helen Pruitt Wallace (Ashland Poetry Press)
  38. A MOUTH IN CALIFORNIA by Graham Foust (Flood Editions)
  39. BOY WITH FLOWERS by Ely Shipley (Barrow Street Press)
  40. THERE'S THE HAND AND THERE'S THE ARID CHAIR by Tomaž Salamun (Counterpath Press)
  42. THE ALL-PURPOSE MAGICAL TENT by Lytton Smith (Nightboat Books)
  43. THE BRITTLE AGE AND RETURNING UPLAND by René Char (Counterpath Press)
  44. COMPLETE MINIMAL POEMS by Aram Saroyan (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  45. GIRL SCOUT NATION by Yedda Morrison (Displaced Press)
  46. ROB THE PLAGIARIST by Robert Fitterman (Roof Books)
  47. OLD SHIRTS & NEW SKINS by Sherman Alexie (American Indian Studies Center, UCLA)
  48. SOMEBODY BLEW UP AMERICA AND OTHER POEMS by Amiri Baraka (House of Nehesi)
  49. THE TREE OF NO by Sandy Florian (Action Books)
  50. PETALS OF ZERO PETALS OF ONE by Andrew Zawacki (Talisman House)
Also see SPD's Poetry Bestsellers 2000-2009. Adiós to the 00's!

Monday, December 14, 2009

TED BERRIGAN by Bill Berkson and George Schneeman

Bill Berkson and George Schneeman
$20 | paper | 28 pp.
Cuneiform Press

Poetry. Art. Limited Edition. TED BERRIGAN is a classic collaboration between Bill Berkson and George Schneeman, and a homage to the poet and painter's mutual friend produced as a unique book in real-time at George's studio on St. Mark's Place on March 5, 2006. Continuing in the tradition of New York School collaboration, Schneeman and Berkson's TED BERRIGAN is a high-quality reproduction comprised of eight spreads where image and text fuse, bleed off the page and cross the gutter. It also includes an afterword by Berkson and a note from the publisher. Handsewn, the dimensions are true to the original. Edition is limited to 500 copies. LINK

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

SPD at the Guadalajara International Book Fair!

Thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts, SPD was able to feature books from some sixty publishers at the 2009 Guadalajara International Book Fair, better known in Mexico as the Fil (Feria Internacional del Libro), the world’s second largest book fair and an impressive event in many ways. While the fair focuses on Spanish language books, each year the FIL celebrates a particular country or city from abroad. This year Los Angeles had that honor, and so along with a handful of other independent publishers (including The Getty, Children’s Book Press, Heyday, Red Hen, Tia Chucha and Cinco Puntos), SPD books (related in some way to LA) were the very first books most visitors saw upon entering the LA Pavilion, which also served as the main entrance to the entire expo. A magnificent presentation put on by the NEA and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs included a uniquely designed open bookstore space, under giant floating balloons upon which independent art films were projected, by a giant wall where an interactive display of LA writers’ names were projected, by a dazzling display of Chicano lowrider vehicles (compliments of Tia Chucha), and of course, groovy music and various lounge seating areas.

The FIL goes on for an astounding nine days, running on selected days from 9am straight through to 11pm. The focus is on literary titles and it serves both the trade (librarians, booksellers, agents) as well as the general public. In addition to innovative displays and a huge roster of readings and panel discussions, one strolling around the FIL can enjoy wandering mariachis, tequila and many other surprises. Many of the booths feature attractive young women striking enticing poses (apparently in Spanish they are known as edicones—“hostesses”—though we dubbed them “booth bunnies”). Despite the absence of booth bunnies in the LA pavilion, crowds perused our wares and showed considerable interested in these here rare English language literary offerings.

Live events throughout the day featured such Latin American literary luminaries as Carlos Fuentes and the poet José Emilio Pacheco, and such USA writers such as Ray Bradbury and Jane Smiley. I was able to enjoy several of these programs, despite my remedial Spanish, through live, simultaneous translation provided through free headsets. I particularly enjoyed when Pacheco (who was there for a 70th birthday tribute) was asked if he thought there was an audience for poetry. His response: “No, there is no audience for poetry, but there are readers.” Ray Bradbury, just on the cusp of 90 years old and now nearly blind, appeared through a video simulcast, with translators in both countries. A young writer asked for advice to those just starting out. His reply, as best as I can recall: “It’s simple. Do what you love and love what you do. If your friends don’t support you, call them up and tell them they’re fired! You must jump off the cliff and then your wings will grow.” These sessions were packed with readers, including many high school and college students. Nighttime at the FIL the exhibition halls fills to overflowing with readers buying books—quite a sight to see. Perhaps one day our own BEA (Book Expo America, North America’s largest trade show) will also welcome individual readers in this same way.

All of Guadalajara seems to participate in the FIL. Whereas those not working in publishing here would scarcely know what BEA even was, let alone if it were taking place in their own city, nearly anyone in Guadalajara knows about the FIL. All of the museums featured related exhibitions (in this case, shows on loan from the Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and other California art institutions), the University of Guadalajara featured a series of LA noir films, and every night there were free or low-cost dance, theater and music performances, some large enough to fill circus tents. These culminated on the final Saturday night with a performance by Los Lobos (which I was able to enjoy from backstage, while snacking on los chips de Los Lobos and enjoying their generously offered tequila). But the FIL overall really is about books, and mostly literary books. The folks at the NEA, particularly Jon Peede, the Director of Literature there, worked tirelessly in maneuvering all of the red tape and complicated trade permissions necessary for us to feature our books. The NEA staff missed Thanksgiving with their families to arrive early and make sure all the books had arrived and were displayed correctly. They made it possible for us to showcase not only SPD books at a major international fair, but to have them in the absolute place of honor in the expo halls. It was a thrilling experience to have SPD titles featured in this way and to have so many readers from another country spend time with our books and purchase them. If you ever plan a trip to Guadalajara (and I strongly suggest you do!), be sure to go during the FIL.

—Jeffrey Lependorf, SPD Executive Director

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


SPD's FALL OPEN HOUSE & BUCK-A-BOOK SALE is Sunday, December 6 from 1-4PM. Free and open to all! Food! Non-alcoholic beverages! Paper Napkins!

  • Celebrating New Lit Generation with our Poetry Trading Post: trade a poem or story, get a free book (it's crazy of us, yes, but that's how we do)
  • Readings start at 2PM with Alan Bernheimer, Andrew Joron, Nicole Mauro, Lindsey Boldt, Annie Yu, and Robin Black
  • 20-50% off all books! Hundreds of Buck-a-Book $1 books! Hundreds of jaw-droppingly spectacular Buck-a-Book $3 books! You will have to remain calm! You had best bring a friend!

If you have never been here, you will never know what we are talking about.

Small Press Distribution
1341 Seventh Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

(Directions and BART QuickPlanner on the right sidebar →)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SPD Poetry Best-Sellers November 2009

  1. THE LAST 4 THINGS by Kate Greenstreet (Ahsahta Press)
  2. A MOUTH IN CALIFORNIA by Graham Foust (Flood Editions)
  3. FACE by Sherman Alexie (Hanging Loose Press)
  4. INCIVILITIES by Barbara Claire Freeman (Counterpath Press)
  5. PINK ELEPHANT by Rachel McKibbens (Cypher Books)
  6. SOMEBODY BLEW UP AMERICA AND OTHER POEMS by Amiri Baraka (House of Nehesi)
  7. THE BUSINESS OF FANCYDANCING by Sherman Alexie (Hanging Loose)
  8. FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY by Craig Santos Perez (Tinfish Press)
  9. SHOT by Christine Hume (Counterpath Press)
  10. THERE'S THE HAND AND THERE'S THE ARID CHAIR by Tomaž Salamun (Counterpath Press)
  11. DUST AND CONSCIENCE by Truong Tran (Apogee Press)
  12. THE BOOK OF FRANK by CAConrad (Chax Press)
  13. SOME KIND OF CHEESE ORGY by Linh Dinh (Chax Press)
  14. TRAFFIC by Kenneth Goldsmith (Make Now Press)
  15. COMPLETE MINIMAL POEMS by Aram Saroyan (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  16. THE DIFFICULT FARM by Heather Christle (Octopus Books)
  17. WITH DEER by Aase Berg (translated by Johannes Göransson) (Black Ocean)
  18. AREAS OF FOG by Joseph Massey (Shearsman Books)
  19. THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE THE MOON SAYS I LOVE YOU by Frank Stanford (Lost Roads Publishers)
  20. ESCAPE FROM COMBRAY by Rick Snyder (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  21. MY NEW JOB by Catherine Wagner (Fence Books)
  22. THE ANCIENT BOOK OF HIP by D.W. Lichtenberg (Fourteen Hills Press)
  23. TALK SHOWS by Mónica de la Torre (Switchback Books)
  24. NIGHT SCENES by Lisa Jarnot (Flood Editions)
  25. BREAKING POEMS by Suheir Hammad (Cypher Books)
  26. POETICAL DICTIONARY (ABRIDGED) by Lohren Green (Atelos)
  27. CLAMPDOWN by Jennifer Moxley (Flood Editions)
  28. ELEANOR, ELEANOR, NOT YOUR REAL NAME by Kathryn Cowles (Bear Star Press)
  29. EUNOIA by Christian Bök (Coach House Books)
  30. THE FRONT by K. Silem Mohammad (Roof Books)