Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bookstores and Poetry and Search Engines

A funny thing happened to me on the way to pick up some tropical fish yesterday. Perhaps it’s a question for anyone who’s published a book:

I walked into a Barnes & Noble, and went to the poetry section. There, for the first time in my life, I found, on the shelf, a copy of a book that I’ve written. What a weird sensation. One of those “look around for the camera” moments.

At the checkout counter, I mentioned to the clerk (well, I simply HAD to tell someone) that my book was there. She asked me if I wanted to sign it. So, of course, I did. Now there’s a copy of The Little Book of Guesses with a “signed by the author” sticker on it at the Arboretum Barnes & Noble, in Austin, Texas.

What an odd little scenario. Do you know what I’m saying?

In other, slightly related news, I’ve come across a new search engine:

It’s powered by Yahoo, and they say that for every search you perform, they’ll donate a penny to the charity of your choice. How interesting. I typed in “Four Way Books,” and, well, I suppose I’m donating a penny to Four Way Books every time I search for something now. So far I think I’ve donated something like five cents.

I don’t know how this works, but at some point I’ll ask Four Way Books if they’ve gotten the check.

In other, further other, news:

New books on the horizon I’m excited about:

Bin Ramke, Tendril (Omnidawn, due in September)
Mary Jo Bang, Elegy (Graywolf – in hardcover!)
Cate Marvin, Fragment of the Head of a Queen (Sarabande)
G. C. Waldrep, Disclamor (BOA)


At 7/25/2007 4:33 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Um, this is cynical, but when I worked for a publisher, we always had authors sign bookstore copies because for some reason they couldn't be returned to publisher.

Not that yours ever would be anyway, but still. haunt the stores.

ps--did the clerk ask for ID or did she just believe you, 'cause it would be a pretty funny thing to lie about and sign other people's books.

At 7/25/2007 5:16 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Yeah, I thought for a second about saying I was J.K. Rowling.

I paid with a credit card, so maybe she looked?

At 7/25/2007 6:38 PM, Blogger Talia Reed said...

That is very cool. I will have to send a link to this blog to my blogger friend who lives in Austin. Maybe she will go buy it. I would have had to tell someone to.

At 7/25/2007 7:07 PM, Blogger Busstogate said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7/25/2007 7:11 PM, Blogger Busstogate said...

I just picked up The City Visible, a new anthology of Chicago poets who favor LANGUAGE, PoMo etc. It's on Cracked Slab. To me, it's interesting and not entirely mired in the search for meaning. Lots of good enjambment usages in the unsplintered poem.

On the way, Galvanized, by W. Joe Hoppe. I guess he is the "it" guy in Austin now that Huffstickler's gone. Hope he's just anywhere close to as moving as Huff.

At 7/25/2007 7:11 PM, Blogger Karri Paul said...

I'll pick it up, if it's still there...unless you'd rather I didn't?

At 7/25/2007 7:31 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


If you pick it up, then, the story will get even better when I tell it next week.

Maybe I could bribe you in some way?



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