Curbside Books & Records

When Carl Sandburg dubbed his home of Chicago the “Hog Butcher for the World,” it caused outraged poetry lovers to cancel their subscriptions to Poetry Magazine all over the world and made Chicago become its own breed of literary city in March 1914.

Our “City of Big Shoulders” is thriving in the literary world. We at Curbside Splendor Publishing opened Curbside Books & Records to facilitate the discovery of independent literature and challenge the traditional understanding of literature's function in our world.

Let us tell you about some of our friends who are publishing the best work right here out of Chicago:

826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students from ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, as well as helping teachers inspire their students to write. They provide after-school tutoring, creative writing workshops, field trips, in-school support, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications.

Staff Pick: Compendium Vol. 5 anthology with a foreword by Dave Eggers

Agate Publishing is an independent book publisher based in Evanston. At its inception, Agate was synonymous with its Bolden imprint, which published exclusively African-American literature and has since expanded to include five additional imprints, including Surrey (cookbooks), Midway (books with a Midwest/Chicago theme), and Agate Digital (e-books).

Staff Pick: Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Drag City is best known as a Chicago-based independent indie rock record label. In 1997, Drag City began publishing books and magazines, including works by Bill Callahan, Harmony Korine, Neil Hagerty, and Rudolph Wurlitzer.

Staff Pick: How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life by John Fahey

Featherproof publishes strange and beautiful fiction and nonfiction, and post-, trans-, and inter-genre tragicomedy. It is currently operated by Tim Kinsella and Jason Sommer.

Staff Pick: The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper

Haymarket Books is a radical, independent, nonprofit book publisher whose mission is to publish books that contribute to struggles for social and economic justice. They strive to make their books a vibrant and organic part of social movements and the education and development of a critical, engaged, international left.

Staff Pick: A People’s History of Chicago by Kevin Coval

Rose Metal Press is an independent, not-for-profit publisher of hybrid genres specializing in the publication of short short, flash, and micro-fiction; prose poetry; novels-in-verse or book-length linked narrative poems; and other literary works that move beyond the traditional genres of poetry, fiction, and essay to find new forms of expression.


Staff Pick: The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová: A Biographical Collage By Kelcey Parker Ervick

Soberscove Press seeks to make available art-related materials that fill a gap in the literature or are difficult to. Their books tend to explore modes and functions of documentation and connect historical themes and issues to the present. Soberscove also works with artists on the production of artists’ books that resonate with their growing list.

Staff Pick: Deliverance by Marc Fischer