The launch event for Wayne Caldwell’s new poetry collection, Woodsmoke, took place virtually on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Wayne was in conversation with the renowned writer Ron Rash, author of (among many other fine things) Serena. Ron’s latest collection of short stories, In the Valley, is, as usual, superb. Click the image below to enjoy the conversation.
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C., is launching Leaning Chair Press, a publishing arm that will emphasize “books that focus on our community and the region, not to mention titles that hold a specific interest in the history of the store,” Justin Souther, senior buyer and bookstore manager, said in an announcement.
With a name that plays off the store’s longtime logo, Leaning Chair Press will publish its first book this spring: Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s play The Rivals. Souther called this book especially appropriate “because our name is derived from the character Mrs. Malaprop.” The Leaning Chair Press edition will have a foreword by Emoke B’Racz, the founder of Malaprop’s. “This is the book we’ve wanted to put out on our own for a while,” Souther added. “You may be shocked by how much time we spend explaining the meaning or origin of the store’s name. We’re excited to have our own version, one that melds the history of the store with its foundational literary work.”
The second title will be a paperback edition of Wayne Caldwell’s Requiem by Fire, which was originally published by Random House in 2010. It was available only in hardcover and has fallen out of print. “When Wayne approached us last year about putting out a paperback edition, we didn’t hesitate,” Souther said. “Wayne’s been a long-time friend of the store and Asheville itself. We relish the opportunity to bring his work back into print through Leaning Chair Press.”
Malaprop’s, which has published several books in the past, had discussed creating a formal publishing program for some time, and it’s something Souther, B’racz, new majority owner Gretchen Horn and bookseller Bobby Bradley (who will design the titles) have been particularly interested in. “We’ve always had the smarts, the ideas, and the resources, but we’re finally ready to put the work behind it,” Souther added.