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Third Man Books, the newly created publishing wing of Jack White’s Third Man Records, has launched with Language Lessons, Volume I, a 321-page hardbound book, co-edited by Chet Weise and Ben Swank, featuring contemporary poetry and prose from more than 20 award-winning poets and authors. The book is available for preorder now and will be in stores on Aug. 5.
Language Lessons features pieces by Pulitzer Prize fiction nominee Dale Ray Phillips; National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle winner in poetry C.D. Wright; and National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry Adrian Matejka.
The package includes two vinyl LPs of jazz, psychedelic-punk poetry, blues and pop from artists such as William Tyler, Destruction Unit, Paul “Wine” Jones, Ken Vandermark, Sampson Starkweather and more. Language Lessons also features five pieces of frameable broadsides of poems by C.D. Wright, Frank Stanford, Brian Barker, Jake Adam York and Chet Weise, with original art from former Big Boys “guitartist” Tim Kerr, one-time Hate illustrator Jim Blanchard and “intertwangle-ist” folk artist Butch Anthony, among others, housed in a hard-case clothbound sleeve. There are also nonfiction contributions from punk progenitors Richard Hell and Tav Falco.
Those attending the Newport Folk Festival this weekend will get the first opportunity for a glimpse into LL:V1, with contributors reading excerpts on Saturday, July 26, including Zachary Schomburg, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Janaka Stucky, Sampson Starkweather, Paige Taggart, Kendra Decolo and Chet Weise.
The occupations of the anthology’s contributors range from teachers, morticians, librarians, software developers, actors and taco chefs to bartenders, farmers, musicians and parents. Although from all over America (and beyond), almost 90 percent of the contributors read in Nashville at the DIY series Poetry Sucks.
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