Poetry News

Eric Amling's After Hours Ltd. Series Now Part of NYPL Chapbook Collection

By Harriet Staff
Riviere, True-Colours, cover

"What is After Hours Ltd.?" asks Catherine Blauvelt of New York Public Library's Collection Development. Well, it's a small chapbook press designed and curated by poet Eric Amling (and distributed by The Song Cave), but it's also a new collection held by the NYPL! Says Blauvelt: "These chapbooks were collected as part of an ongoing effort to provide our patrons with the opportunity to discover a thriving literary community outside big publishing houses [. . .] We reached out to Eric to get some more information about the series, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for us." From their conversation:

Why does your press focus on chapbooks? What is it about chapbooks?

There is a seduction in limited edition; and that seduction should be worthwhile. A chapbook is intimate. It is an introduction to an author that can become a lifelong affair. That being said, in more practical terms, I’m one person with a credit card limit, and publishing costs money. Maybe After Hours Ltd will pursue larger projects in the future.

How do you find the work that you publish? Why do you choose what you do?

Out of the gate I had some writers in mind I wanted to work with. Work that, of course, was important to me, but also by authors that either hadn’t had their writing collected in this format before, or weren’t the usual names I see appearing in a series. Many titles in the series are by writers living outside of the United States. I’m very fortunate to have had their trust in handling their work – and hearing readers’ responses, I couldn’t be happier the series has been successful in that way.

Can you choose a favorite poem from work that you've published?

Randomly, I'd like to pick a line or two from each title:

Wendy Lotterman, Intense Holiday, 'You go blond in front of a hardwood McDonalds'

Laura A. Warman, The Cave The Basement The Church The Bedroom The Mall, 'the mall is / the gayest / place built / on the / backs of / laborers'

Aurelia Guo, 2016, 'Dissembling was my full time job; being ashamed was my hobby'

Daniel Feinberg, Flowers & Drinks, ‘The only truth / is poverty / everything else / is lush / hibiscus / acid / trips.’

Galina Rymbu, White Bread, 'Even if women piss on all the cathedrals / and men fuck themselves with a machine gun / there will be death there will be sex there will be poetry’

Erica Lewis, Teak , 'i cannot reimagine our lives / the parts we once abandoned / drinking orange crush / straight / from the bottle'

Sam Riviere, True Colours, 'Either one is an intrepid angel wielding fairness like it's vengeance / Or of the bottom-feeder click-bait class wasting water and calories'

Read more about After Hours Ltd. at the NYPL blog.

Originally Published: August 31st, 2017