Books, Bookstores, Fiction, Poetry

Bookstore Review: Brier Books in Lexington

BrierYou shouldn’t judge a bookstore by its cover. Or should you? Brier Books is located in the heart of the Chevy Chase district in Lexington, Kentucky where boutique shops and delicious eateries abound. Good–albeit, corporate–coffee and kitschy bars stand at the ready as well. The store itself occupies the first floor of a lovely cottage and shares some of the space with an art gallery. The inviting rainbow sign out front is hard to miss, and your GPS won’t have any trouble locating 319 S. Ashland Avenue in case you do happen to get distracted searching for parking. But there’s good news on that account too. Brier has a few spots out front and several more in its tidy parking lot around back.

When you step inside, you’ll find books from the big New York publishers as well as top indie and local presses tastefully arranged on bookcases that make it clear these titles were chosen and not spilled into a bin like the catch of the day. Owners Jay McCoy and Savannah Sipple are poets (each with several, wonderful publications), so asking for a book recommendation is always a great idea. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the shelf, they’re happy to track it down for you and have it delivered to the store.

Author events are also plentiful, so it’s never a bad idea to check their events calendar and time your visit to match a reading you’d want to go to even if you weren’t planning to buy a book: https://www.brierbooks.com/event

From the ambience to the offerings, Brier captures the essence of what an indie bookstore should be. If there were a guide to amazing indie bookstores, you’d dogear the page Brier Books is on and flip to it often.

 

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Appalachian, Feminist, Fiction, Literature, Nature, Novel-in-stories, Poetry

New interview in Appalachian Heritage

I’m so pleased my interview in the Winter 2017 issue of app-heritage-lgAppalachian Heritage puts me in the same company as former Kentucky poet laureate, George Ella Lyon; my former student, Tasha Cotter; and so many other established and emerging writers. Thanks to editor, Jason Howard, for making me part of this outstanding journal.

Feminist, Literature, Motherhood, Poetry

Proof Positive

November 16, 2015 058The proofs for my poetry collection, Viable, arrived yesterday evening. Five Oaks Editor Lynn Houston has put together a beautiful book! This collection might be the most deeply personal thing I ever write, so I’m both nervous and excited to share it with readers. It includes poems about my own girlhood, marriage, pregnancies, miscarriages and motherhood, as well as poems which chanel the keening voices of grief-stricken historic and literary mothers.

Viable would make a great gift, especially for a mother or daughter. Lynn has worked hard to get the book out in time for the holidays. It is now available for pre-order, both as a paperback and an e-book. You can order through Amazon, but since more of the money goes to the actual press if you order through Market Square, I encourage you to support the wonderful small press that is championing my creative work. Here’s the link:

https://squareup.com/market/five-oaks-press/viable-by-julie-hensley