Tag Archives: Donald Dunbar

Shelf Talker Shelf Talker Shelf Talker…

What the heck is a Shelf Talker you ask?

It’s one of those pieces of cardstock paper you see on a bookstore’s shelf that tells you when an employee really loves a book and wants to draw attention to it. I think the best bookstores are the ones full of passionate readers always willing to share their literary discoveries while also cultivating a sense of community. You can learn a lot about a bookstore’s collective personality by scanning what they choose to give shelf talkers to. I have been to a couple of bookstores where there are NO shelf talkers at all and it always jars me a little, like the store is saying: “You’re on your own here. We are not excited about anything and we have no opinions.”

Oof. What a downer.

Bookstores: Show us your shelf talkers!!

Last year, at work, we introduced a whole line of new shelf talker designs to freshen up the look of the store. That’s cool and everything, but (like a bibliophile hoarder) I am a little sad about throwing away some of my old stand-bys. I love making shelf talkers for my small press section. I think it has really helped a lot of readers discover new talent through the past fourteen years I’ve been in charge of it.

So before I tossed them in the recycling, I took photos of some of my favorites and decided I’d post them here (about 140 more are not pictured). That way, they live FOREVER! Enjoy this journey–and read these books!

(click on the pic to make it bigger)

20140109_155230

For Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City (Dark Sky Press)

20140109_154921

The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

20140109_155302 20140109_155246 20140109_155238 20140109_155224 20140109_155216 20140109_155207 20140109_155202 20140109_155157

Another book that we've sold a ton of at Powell's.

Another book that we’ve sold a ton of at Powell’s.

20140109_155142

Zachary Lipez, Stacey Wakefield, and Nick Zinner did a great reading for this book at Powell’s back in 2010.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin's magic to the world.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin’s magic to the world.

I think this was for Greg's first book, I Have Touched You.

I think this was for Greg’s first book, I Have Touched You.

20140109_155103

For CA Conrad

20140109_155118 20140109_155109 20140109_155055

I love Spork Books!

I love Spork Books!

20140109_155036 20140109_155021 20140109_155014

Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

20140109_154909

My favorite literary journal.

20140109_153943

We've sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

We’ve sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

20140109_154945 20140109_155002

Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic. By Paul Fattarusso.

20140109_154848

Like how I burned the edges?

Like how I burned the edges?

The first shelf talker for Chloe's classic.

The first shelf talker for Chloe’s classic.

20140109_154820 20140109_154749

Catch Up (ketchup)

It’s already February? I gotta catch y’all up on some stuff.

Besides doing the final edits on the great Chloe Caldwell book (out in April!) and doing some other Future Tense-related work (for instance, we’re now distributed by Small Press Distribution!), I’ve had some fun readings lately. I read at the If Not For Kidnap party on January 20th (congrats to INFK host Donald Dunbar for his recent Fence Poetry Prize) and then also at a fantastic Planned Parenthood event (which was reviewed the next day).

Reading at the Planned Parenthood benefit on 2/8/12. Photo by Andie Petkus

My next readings are gonna be pretty sweet too. I’ll be wandering around AWP in Chicago through the first weekend of March and reading at the Ear Eater reading series on March 3rd at 6pm at Beef & Brandy.   (also–I am on a panel about publishing fiction chapbooks at 9am the morning of the 2nd on the third floor of the Marquette Hilton.)

The following week, I’ll be back in Portland and reading at this cool event called SongStory. It’s on Wednesday, March 7th at the Someday Lounge. Other awesome readers include Lidia Yuknavitch and Gigi Little.

In other news, I had this essay about my experience with riot grrrl that was just published by Jewcy. This is an interesting piece that I actually wrote about two years ago after I found a letter from Bikini Kill’s iconic Kathleen Hanna that I had buried in a box of correspondence.

Kathleen Hanna’s spoken word single on Kill Rock Stars

I shopped the piece around a little to some music magazines but it never quite fit anywhere. It was going to be published by a Portland paper, but they sat on it for over a year (waiting for a slow news week perhaps) that I finally sent it elsewhere. Thanks to Jason Diamond for taking it on.

Now, to tie this all together with the title of the post, I will tell you my thoughts on ketchup (or catsup, which is how you say it with a lisp):

The only thing positive that I ever learned from my first girlfriend was the trick of mixing ketchup and mayonnaise to make a yummy french fry sauce. We’d go to Burger King and chomp down two or three orders of fries at a time. Since then, I’ve done “the mix” everywhere I go, from burger joints to fancy places with twelve dollar burgers. Thankfully, one of my favorite Portland burger places, Little Big Burger, already has that delightful sauce ready-made for the asking. Thanks, LBB.

The only other time I like ketchup is with fish-n-chips. I’ll always remember filling up those tiny paper cup things at Skippers whenever our family went there on Friday nights during Lent. All-you-can-eat fried fish dipped in ketchup is a wonderful thing.

Okay, folks and friends. Thanks for reading! This post was written while listening to various videos by Eleanor Friedberger, like this beauty.