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“Coal Mountain Elementary is an imaginative and shocking reminder of what it means, in the most human and poignant terms, to be a miner, whether in this country or in China, or for that matter anywhere in the industrial world. It is also a tribute to miners and working people everywhere. It manages, in photos and in words, to portray an entire culture. And it is a stunning educational tool.” —Howard Zinn
Anne Carson’s The Albertine Workout is a charming and (relatively) approachable introduction to the poet’s work. Published as a chapbook by New Directions, The Albertine Workout contains fifty-nine paragraphs, with appendices, summarizing Carson’s research on Albertine, the principal love interest of Marcel in Proust’s novels.
Four from Japan, published by Litmus Press, showcases contemporary poetry and essays in translation by Japanese women. Edited by Sawako Nakayasu.
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This print, or anything by Cecilia Afonso Esteves. She makes absolutely beautiful things. I have a postcard and a business card of hers and they are among my treasured tiny art objects. Her blog is here.
Ann Wood, who makes birds, plants, ships, horses, and spiders out of very old pieces of cloth, has now made a pattern so that you (or someone you know) can do that. The patterns are in her shop.
Amy Karol makes perfumes and oils for skin and hair. Her Lovely would make, er, ahem, a lovely gift.
The Small Object is having a sale on all their rubber stamps (except custom ones), and these make really great presents—for kids and grownups.
Josh Ritter’s album The Animal Years is one of my favorite albums ever. You can get it on vinyl or CD in his shop—great songwriting, great lyrics, good for driving, trains, late nights, early mornings, afternoons.
And my perennial favorite Ben Weaver has a new LP out on vinyl with a digital download. I’d Rather Be a Buffalo is available only at Hymies’ in Minneapolis and online through Ben’s store, and is limited to 500 copies.
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I’d be remiss at capitalism if I didn’t also say that you could find presents in the MIEL shop. So maybe a calendar with drawings of birds and women, tea sets and foggy animals is for you or someone you know?
Or maybe your friend needs a reminder (at any time of year) that winter won’t last forever. Or perhaps you’d like someone special to receive shipments of small-press books throughout 2015. (Subscriptions are like a present to the press, too.)
If you’re looking for a present for someone with a sense of humor, an interest in history, and a taste for puns, try one of George Szirtes’ chapbooks. For an artist or handmaker, Lisa Solomon’s monograph HAND/MADE is perfect (and on sale for €12!). A person with a sense of place, an interest in landscape, or an attachment to the dictionary will likely enjoy Josh Wallaert’s A Guide to the Northwest Territory. And Jonterri Gadson’s Interruptions combined with Kristen Case’s Temple and Shana Youngdahl’s Winter/Windows would make an incredible gift for parents, whether new or long in tooth.