Soft Skull Press

Soft Skull Press Soft Skull Press is an independent publisher of books that engage art, culture, and current events in new and radical ways.

Congratulations are in order for Fiona Duncan (@fifidunks), author of Exquisite Mariposa, which has been long-listed for...
01/27/2020

Congratulations are in order for Fiona Duncan (@fifidunks), author of Exquisite Mariposa, which has been long-listed for a NCIBA Golden Poppy: http://bit.ly/37Ai3UY

"They told me not to go above fifty miles per hour but I got it to sixty right away, easy, no problem.Everyone was check...
01/23/2020

"They told me not to go above fifty miles per hour but I got it to sixty right away, easy, no problem.

Everyone was checking me out.

Yeah, all right.

Who is this man hauling ass in a truck with kreemy kroozin
written on the side?"

From THE ICE CREAM MAN AND OTHER STORIES by Sam Pink, out March 3rd, 2020!

Berkeley, tonight at 7pm! join us Books Inc. where Nicolette Polek will read from her stunning debut, IMAGINARY MUSEUMS ...
01/23/2020
NICOLETTE POLEK with SELENA ANDERSON, JORDAN CASTRO & MATTHEW ZAPRUDER at Books Inc. Berkeley

Berkeley, tonight at 7pm! join us Books Inc. where Nicolette Polek will read from her stunning debut, IMAGINARY MUSEUMS ✨with Selena Anderson, Jordan Castro & Matthew Zapruder. What a list!

Writer and pianist Nicolette Polek shares her stunning debut story collection, Imaginary Museums. Twenty-six surreal miniatures about displacement, mystery, and transformation Nicolette's writing is perfect for fans of Jen George's The Babysitter at Rest Ottessa Moshfegh's Homesick for Another World...

Thanks, Eileen Myles. We have to agree. ROMANCE OR THE END slithers onto shelves in two weeks!
01/21/2020

Thanks, Eileen Myles. We have to agree. ROMANCE OR THE END slithers onto shelves in two weeks!

Berkeley, this coming Thursday 1/23 at 7pm: join us Books Inc. where Nicolette Polek will read from her stunning debut, ...
01/20/2020
NICOLETTE POLEK with SELENA ANDERSON, JORDAN CASTRO & MATTHEW ZAPRUDER at Books Inc. Berkeley

Berkeley, this coming Thursday 1/23 at 7pm: join us Books Inc. where Nicolette Polek will read from her stunning debut, IMAGINARY MUSEUMS ✨with Selena Anderson, Jordan Castro & Matthew Zapruder. What a list!

Writer and pianist Nicolette Polek shares her stunning debut story collection, Imaginary Museums. Twenty-six surreal miniatures about displacement, mystery, and transformation Nicolette's writing is perfect for fans of Jen George's The Babysitter at Rest Ottessa Moshfegh's Homesick for Another World...

Couldn’t resist sharing this roundup of books from @booksandbooks. IMAGINARY MUSEUMS is in very good company! ..#Repost ...
01/19/2020

Couldn’t resist sharing this roundup of books from @booksandbooks. IMAGINARY MUSEUMS is in very good company!
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#Repost @booksandbooks with @repostapp
・・・
STAFF REC! Here are some titles our book buyer @gael_lelamer recommends this week 🧐
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#nicolettepolek #imaginarymuseums #softskull #softskullpress #garthgreenwell #cleanness #scarlettthomas #oligarchy #annawiener #uncannyvalley #mengjin #littlegods #hittingastraightlickwithacrookedstick #zoranealehurston #booksandbooks #bookrecs #bookstagram

"We sit side by side. We don’t say a word. We don’t look at each other. You park alongside the shore. It’s the most comf...
01/18/2020
“Love Language”

"We sit side by side. We don’t say a word. We don’t look at each other. You park alongside the shore. It’s the most comforting thing in the world." For your morning enjoyment, an excerpt from Imaginary Museums by Nicolette Polek featured on Literary Hub :
http://bit.ly/2FPs844

Biba scoots around in the airplane seat, feeling for her headphones. The upholstery itches and the cool air nozzle is unavoidable. She feels a melancholy for everywhere she is leaving, as though sh…

Love turned me into a liar.Lies turned me into a god.“These poems are lacerating, coy, bloody, and so true I wanted to m...
01/17/2020

Love turned me into a liar.
Lies turned me into a god.

“These poems are lacerating, coy, bloody, and so true I wanted to memorize lines from them.”
—Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room

Romance or The End, by Elaine Kahn.
In stores February 2020.
http://bit.ly/RomanceorTheEnd

Wayne Koestenbaum, you may have been kicked off of TikTok, but you have a firm place in our hearts. (Card-carrying Koest...
01/16/2020

Wayne Koestenbaum, you may have been kicked off of TikTok, but you have a firm place in our hearts. (Card-carrying Koestenbaum fans, unite!)

We already love FIGURE IT OUT, Wayne's forthcoming essay collection on art, literature, sexuality, asemic writing, useless rosters, corpse envy, and smell as "the whore of grammar," among other things.

You heard it here, folks: a magical, vivid, revelatory dream
01/15/2020

You heard it here, folks: a magical, vivid, revelatory dream

01/14/2020

Happy pub day to IMAGINARY MUSEUMS by Nicolette Polek! Like a portal to another world, this collection of compact fictions transports us to a gently unsettling realm inhabited by disheveled landlords, a fugitive bride, a seamstress who forgets what people look like, and two rival falconers from neighboring
towns—all possessed by a familiar and human longing for connection: to their homes, families, God, and themselves.

🎾

"What are these? Weird parables? Dark dreams? Warnings about the afterlife, death, marriage? Like the best writers, Polek is willing to go to a disturbing place and stay there. She will not save our hero. She will join the shadowy forces and lead us in."
—Deb Olin Unferth, author of Wait Till You See Me Dance and Revolution

🍷

"Nicolette Polek's stories are little circuses of wonder and surprise. They make me feel wide awake. Plus Imaginary Museums is really pleasingly full of stuff: you've got hairpin narrative turns, unexpected drownings, saltshakers, trapdoors, chain saws, vodka. In one of my favorite stories, a bluebird sees the main character, but she never sees the bird. Imaginary Museums is delightfully alive."
— Danielle Dutton, author of Margaret the First and SPRAWL

🚙

Come celebrate with us tonight at McNally Jackson Books (Seaport location, Fulton St), 7:30 pm!

Cover design and animation by Michael Salu.

"We sit side by side. We don’t say a word. We don’t look at each other. You park alongside the shore. It’s the most comf...
01/13/2020
“Love Language”

"We sit side by side. We don’t say a word. We don’t look at each other. You park alongside the shore. It’s the most comforting thing in the world." For your morning enjoyment, an excerpt from Imaginary Museums by Nicolette Polek featured on Literary Hub :
http://bit.ly/2FPs844

Biba scoots around in the airplane seat, feeling for her headphones. The upholstery itches and the cool air nozzle is unavoidable. She feels a melancholy for everywhere she is leaving, as though sh…

IMAGINARY MUSEUMS is out TOMORROW!  This sweet starred review from Publishers Weekly calls it "deliciously unnerving," "...
01/13/2020

IMAGINARY MUSEUMS is out TOMORROW! This sweet starred review from Publishers Weekly calls it "deliciously unnerving," "surprising and potent."

"The word memento is a lovely and fitting description for this small companion story to Kawakami’s bestselling novel Str...
01/12/2020

"The word memento is a lovely and fitting description for this small companion story to Kawakami’s bestselling novel Strange Weather in Tokyo . . . A moving story of kindness with the subtle and beautiful writing Kawakami’s known for and captivating illustrations by Takako Yosh*tomi, Parade will prove to be a precious keepsake for fans of Kawakami and Strange Weather in Tokyo." ―Pierce Alquist, Book Riot

"The last thing she wants is to feel pitied, or like he’s 'taking her out' to be aired. She does want to go dancing, tho...
01/11/2020
Why Is It So Hard to Just Say What We Mean - Electric Literature

"The last thing she wants is to feel pitied, or like he’s 'taking her out' to be aired. She does want to go dancing, though."

Over at Electric Literature, air yourself out with one of our favorite stories from Nicolette Polek's IMAGINARY MUSEUMS, "The Dance."

http://bit.ly/37Ajp1E

The Dance Esme and Ismer have a game they play at dinner. Esme looks at the table and memorizes everything—the silverware, the position of the steak, the saltshaker, and when she closes her eyes Ismer moves something, slightly. To the left, to the right, into his lap. Tonight Ismer switches their ...

“Elaine Kahn’s highly anticipated second full length book, ROMANCE OR THE END (Soft Skull, 2020), is a chapter book of p...
01/09/2020

“Elaine Kahn’s highly anticipated second full length book, ROMANCE OR THE END (Soft Skull, 2020), is a chapter book of poems tearing open the incomprehensible acts that decenter our sense of self, one section at a time.”

—Ben Fama, "What's on My Nightstand," Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine

Out February 4th!

“This book takes me right back to the Carnage Years—yours, too—sacrificed to love. If only I, you, had possessed Elaine ...
01/08/2020

“This book takes me right back to the Carnage Years—yours, too—sacrificed to love. If only I, you, had possessed Elaine Kahn’s wisdom and wit. These poems are lacerating, coy, bloody, and so true I wanted to memorize lines from them.” —Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room

We're not excited, YOU'RE excited. Okay. We're ~*definitely~*~ excited to launch Nicolette Polek's IMAGINARY MUSEUMS nex...
01/08/2020

We're not excited, YOU'RE excited.

Okay. We're ~*definitely~*~ excited to launch Nicolette Polek's IMAGINARY MUSEUMS next Tuesday, 1/14.

NYC friends, come say hi at McNally Jackson Books (Seaport location) that evening, 7:30 pm. Nicolette will read with Christine Schutt, Precious Okoyomon, and Mary South.

It’s the first #TarotTuesday of the year! Today, we’re reading Maggie Nelson’s SOMETHING BRIGHT, THEN HOLES with the @me...
01/07/2020

It’s the first #TarotTuesday of the year!

Today, we’re reading Maggie Nelson’s SOMETHING BRIGHT, THEN HOLES with the @mesquitetarot.

TWO OF CUPS, REVERSED:
Upright, this card is about a conscious choice to be in partnership with another person. It can be romantic or not. It’s about really *seeing* and valuing another person for who they are. Reversed, something is off. Speakers in this collection ache to be seen, to see themselves. The aloneness of that: “I hate the phrase ‘self-preservation’ // I mean what, exactly, is one / preserving?”
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THE HANGED ONE:
This is a suspension by choice—think Odin on the World Tree. Sometimes we put ourselves into uncomfortable limbo to learn something (moving to a new city, entering uncharted territory in a relationship, going to therapy). Sometimes putting ourselves somewhere defamiliarizing will do the trick. The long section, The Canal Diaries, feels like this: “The man I feared most / is now the man with whom I sit / at every sunset.”

STUDENT (PAGE) OF WANDS:
Pages are the students of the tarot. They’ve lived through all of the cards that came before them, so they’re not blank slates—but they hold fresh energy, even innocence. Wands are the suit of passion, creativity. The speakers in these poems have a novel way of viewing the world, even its pain: “My heart just can’t break any more, now that // it has changed substance, is full / of fluid and fire and air and turning // like a little wheel in its broth.”

"The last thing she wants is to feel pitied, or like he’s 'taking her out' to be aired. She does want to go dancing, tho...
01/06/2020
Why Is It So Hard to Just Say What We Mean - Electric Literature

"The last thing she wants is to feel pitied, or like he’s 'taking her out' to be aired. She does want to go dancing, though."

In Electric Literature one of our favorite stories from Nicolette Polek's IMAGINARY MUSEUMS, "The Dance."

http://bit.ly/37Ajp1E

The Dance Esme and Ismer have a game they play at dinner. Esme looks at the table and memorizes everything—the silverware, the position of the steak, the saltshaker, and when she closes her eyes Ismer moves something, slightly. To the left, to the right, into his lap. Tonight Ismer switches their ...

Soft Skull Press's cover photo
01/03/2020

Soft Skull Press's cover photo

Soft Skull Press's cover photo
01/03/2020

Soft Skull Press's cover photo

Find this and other industry terms in Sam Pink's forthcoming THE ICE CREAM MAN AND OTHER STORIES, out in March!
01/03/2020

Find this and other industry terms in Sam Pink's forthcoming THE ICE CREAM MAN AND OTHER STORIES, out in March!

"We find Romance, pinned down, with its skin peeled back—and Kahn is its God, whose weapon is levity, sharp between her ...
12/31/2019

"We find Romance, pinned down, with its skin peeled back—and Kahn is its God, whose weapon is levity, sharp between her teeth."
—Trisha Low, author of Socialist Realism and The Compleat Purge

Romance or The End by Elaine Kahn
In stores February, 2020.
http://bit.ly/RomanceorTheEnd

“Nicolette Polek’s Imaginary Museums is a collection of pressure-cooked little diamonds: smart, funny, succinct.”—Juliet...
12/30/2019

“Nicolette Polek’s Imaginary Museums is a collection of pressure-cooked little diamonds: smart, funny, succinct.”
—Juliet Escoria, author of Juliet the Maniac

Imaginary Museums, by Nicolette Polek
In stores January, 2020.
http://bit.ly/ImaginaryMuseums

"With laser precision and an almost seventeenth-century ear for melody, Romance or The End is a frank, strange, and ofte...
12/27/2019

"With laser precision and an almost seventeenth-century ear for melody, Romance or The End is a frank, strange, and often hilarious autopsy of eros."
—Ariana Reines, author of A Sand Book and Mercury

In stores February, 2020.
http://bit.ly/RomanceorTheEnd

Grizz has the right idea about how to spend time after the holidays: curled up with a good book.
12/26/2019

Grizz has the right idea about how to spend time after the holidays: curled up with a good book.

Merry Christmas! Here, I got you a photo of a sugar glider next to Mitz that I've had kicking around my hard drive for a...
12/25/2019

Merry Christmas! Here, I got you a photo of a sugar glider next to Mitz that I've had kicking around my hard drive for a while.

“Deliciously unnerving … A surprising and potent catalogue of small, eerie discoveries.” —Publishers Weekly (starred rev...
12/23/2019

“Deliciously unnerving … A surprising and potent catalogue of small, eerie discoveries.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Imaginary Museums, by Nicolette Polek
In stores January, 2020.
http://bit.ly/ImaginaryMuseums

Got some Polish love for PARADE by Hiromi Kawakami! Love this lively photo and the international appreciation...#Repost ...
12/23/2019

Got some Polish love for PARADE by Hiromi Kawakami! Love this lively photo and the international appreciation.
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#Repost @tajfuny
#tajfunowykalendarzadwentowy - dzień 14 👺

Opowiadając o "Niedźwiedzim bogu", mówimy często: cienka książka, ale ciężki kaliber. Kawakami w Parade po raz kolejny udowadnia, że najlepiej czuje się w krótkich formach. To malutka książka, której lektura jest czystą przyjemnością - odpowiednio wciągającą i niepokojącą - no bo jak można nie wkręcić się w opowieść o stworach z japońskiego folkloru, które podążają za szkolnymi dziećmi i siedzą z nimi w szkolnych ławkach?

To świetna gratka dla fanów "Strange Weather in Tokyo" (pol. "Sensei i miłość"). Jak pisze Kawakami w posłowiu: "This book might describe a day that Tsukiko and Sensei spent together in early summer. On another day, presumably they passed their time differently.

The world that exits behind a story is never fully known, not even to the author. That is what I had in mind as I created this." Całości dopełniają ilustracje Takako Yosh*tomi. Polecamy to maleńkie cudo z całego serca ❤️

"Romance or The End gives us tragically more than we deserve. ... Dare get risked and hunted unendingly by this work, an...
12/22/2019

"Romance or The End gives us tragically more than we deserve. ... Dare get risked and hunted unendingly by this work, and it’ll make your 'heart wet' too, I swear."
—Jane Gregory, author of Yeah No and My Enemies"

In stores February, 2020.
http://bit.ly/RomanceorTheEnd

"An often surreal, at times disturbing, and reliably twisted look at the hidden sides of our everyday lives. By peeking ...
12/20/2019

"An often surreal, at times disturbing, and reliably twisted look at the hidden sides of our everyday lives. By peeking behind the closed doors of our mundane existences, Motoya offers up truly unsettling looks at the things people are capable of doing. It is a particular, strange pleasure to read these stories for the first time; everyone should relish getting that opportunity." —NYLON

“What are these? Weird parables? Dark dreams? Warnings about the afterlife? Like the best writers, Polek is willing to g...
12/19/2019

“What are these? Weird parables? Dark dreams? Warnings about the afterlife? Like the best writers, Polek is willing to go to a disturbing place and stay there.” —Deb Olin Unferth

Imaginary Museums, by Nicolette Polek
In stores January, 2020.
http://bit.ly/ImaginaryMuseums

What book(s) are YOU planning to cozy up with over the holidays?#babyyoda #didnotendorsethispost #badphotoshop #definite...
12/18/2019

What book(s) are YOU planning to cozy up with over the holidays?

#babyyoda #didnotendorsethispost #badphotoshop #definitelyreal #cozy #readinginbed #holidayreads #graphicdesignismypassion

12/16/2019

Mondays are a cool day and one thing thats extra cool day about this Monday is The New Yorker celebrating Fiona Duncan's EXQUISITE MARIPOSA.

http://bit.ly/2PrJjys

In ROMANCE OR THE END, Elaine Kahn unspools the fundamental instability of truth, love, and language to create a lucid p...
12/15/2019

In ROMANCE OR THE END, Elaine Kahn unspools the fundamental instability of truth, love, and language to create a lucid portrait of narrative’s power to both disfigure and restore. Taking up the tools of romantic tragedy, these poems perform the rupture that occurs between self and story at the onset of trauma.

This is a book about love.And it is a book about lies.Love can be a lie, but it is also always true.This is a book about...
12/12/2019

This is a book about love.

And it is a book about lies.

Love can be a lie, but it is also always true.

This is a book about truth.

This is a book about story.

There is no such thing as a true story, and so there are no stories in this book.

Without a story, there is separation.

This is a book about separation.

Everything is a story. Even the truth.

There is nothing truer in this world than the lie of love.

From ROMANCE OR THE END by Elaine Kahn, out in February 2020!

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LOSS Light and dark, Light and dark, It is dusk; The night is, is not discernible. He barely passes the lane, Turns the bent, Reaches the dream; It is so good, It is so sweet, His wishes are realized. Dark and light, Dark and light, It is twilight, The morning is, is not discernible. Finally, the light increases, Twilight melts in the light; The dream disappears. He stops, Returns, Passes the bent, Seeks the dream. It is morning, There is no dream left...
Greetings from DeKalb! Here's my interview with Joe Bonomo... https://t.co/1PuvXE91OS #WNIJReadWithMe
Teaser for my interview with Joe Bonomo, author of "Field Recordings from the Inside." Listen Monday on WNIJ.org!