Books & Shovels is a cross country pop-up bookstore that debuted at the 2014 NYC Poetry Festival. Founded under Nostrovia! Poetry’s umbrella, Books & Shovels toured from Manchester, New Hampshire, to Denver, Colorado, hitting open mics, slams, festivals, and street corners along the way.
We distributed poetry collections of all sorts, the hand bound and mass printed, zines and rags, paintings and cds, anything that exhibited Passionate Living and creativity.
Our mission is to promote Passionate Living > Making a Living.
Books & Shovels meshes grass roots promotions, such as street performing, flyers, and D.I.Y. open mics, with the opportunities of the 21st century; blogging, internet poetry, and ezines.
During our travels, we distributed ~400 donated books. We hit This Is Poetry hosted by Punk Hostage Press, The Nitty Gritty Slam in Albany, New York City dive bars, Kansas City street corners, The Mercury Cafe in Denver. We received an overwhelming amount of support.
Its heartbeat has stuttered since a car accident in Lawrence, KS, destroyed the initial vehicle. Stuck in front of a Walmart in Kansas heat, we cooked. We couldn’t simply downsize and hitchhike, as we had no where to store the books, and knew no one in the area. We asked a local mechanic how much it would be to fix the Volvo, and the total was $5000+, well more than the vehicle was worth, and far beyond what we had collectively.
That same mechanic ended up giving us a deal on a 1989 Ford E150 that was falling apart in exchange for the Volvo’s corpse. With the books safe, we made way to Denver through empty fields and pink thunderstorms. From Denver, after being beaten around physically and financially, we rounded our way back to New Hampshire to resecure Books & Shovels. By the time we arrived, the van was sputtering furious. We scrapped it, and hopped on a Greyhound away from the oncoming Winter chill, fleeing to the South Coast.
Books & Shovels is on hiatus. But it is not dead. Books & Shovels is far from dead.
The books are stored at a friend’s in Erie, Pennsylvania, being read and well cared for. Nostrovia! Poetry, Captain, Sam, and I have come to settle in Tucson, Arizona. Here Books & Shovels will relaunch, hitting the 2015 NYC Poetry Festival in July, then shooting towards the West Coast.
The gears are in motion. We will be hitting the road with the literary caravan once again, this time far more prepared, having learned from our mistakes.
Books & Shovels Lawrence Kansas
Jeremiah Walton was born February 12, 1995. He is founder / manager of Nostrovia! Poetry, W.I.S.H. Publishing, and traveling bookstore Books & Shovels. Jeremiah featured at the 2013/14 NYC Poetry Festivals, 2014 Snoetry Festival, This Is Poetry (Punk Hostage Press), and on street corners across the country. Walton’s most recent collection of poems is #RuntRaccoonRevolution, a collection of poems that eats craw fish, frogs, and your trash. Support this raccoon’s eating habit by purchasing the collection through Bottlecap Press.