February 27th, 2012 / 9:01 am

Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands

SPD had a sale I learned about the day it was ending so I never got around to buying anything (discounted). The list of their 100 top-selling books of 2011 is worth a look, however. Hovering the cursor over covers to see titles takes too long so I opened 10 tabs, copied and pasted the info, inserted a number, a period, and the word “by” between author and title, repeating this process 10 times. Except I ended up with a list of only 99 books, so I had to go back and find the omitted book and redo the numbering![!!] I was also going to insert links to everything but decided against it. Enjoy.

1. Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yizhar
Publisher: Ibis Editions

2. Girlvert: A Porno Memoir by Oriana Small
Publisher: A Barnacle Book

3. Devotional Cinema by Nathaniel Dorsky
Publisher: Tuumba Press

4. Barrio Bushido by Benjamin Bac Sierra
Publisher: El Leon Literary Arts

5. Up Jump the Boogie by John Murillo
Publisher: Cypher Books

6. The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field by Tara L Masih, Editor
Publisher: Rose Metal Press

7. Clamor by Elyse Fenton
Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center

8. The Trees The Trees by Heather Christle
Publisher: Octopus Books

9. Gully by Roger Bonair-Agard
Publisher: Cypher Books

10. Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns
Publisher: Dorothy, a publishing project

11. Humanimal: A Project for Future Children by Bhanu Kapil
Publisher: Kelsey Street Press

12. Divorcer by Gary Lutz
Publisher: Calamari Press

13. The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You by Frank Stanford
Publisher: Lost Roads Publishers

14. Ventrakl by Christian Hawkey
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse

15. selected unpublished blog posts of a mexican panda express employee by Megan Boyle
Publisher: Muumuu House

16. Ajax by Sophocles
Publisher: Flood Editions

17. Stories in the Worst Way by Gary Lutz
Publisher: Calamari Press

18. you are a little bit happier than i am by Tao Lin
Publisher: Action Books

19. Incubation: A Space for Monsters by Bhanu Kapil
Publisher: Leon Works

20. Song for His Disappeared Love/Canto a Su Amor Desaparecido by Raul Zurita
Publisher: Action Books

21. Event Factory by Renee Gladman
Publisher: Dorothy, a publishing project

22. Nets by Jen Bervin
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse

23. The Source by Noah Eli Gordon
Publisher: Futurepoem Books

24. ZaatarDiva by Suheir Hammad
Publisher: Cypher Books

25. Lunar Braceros 2125-2148 by Rosaura Sanchez and Beatrice Pita
Publisher: Calaca Press

26. Ordinary Sun by Matthew Henriksen
Publisher: Black Ocean

27. Poems of the Black Object by Ronaldo V Wilson
Publisher: Futurepoem Books

28. Ten Walks/Two Talks by Jon Cotner and Andy Fitch
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse

29. Pink Elephant by Rachel McKibbens
Publisher: Cypher Books

30. Testify by Joseph Lease
Publisher: Coffee House Press

31. Home/Birth: A Poemic by Arielle Greenberg and Rachel Zucker
Publisher: 1913 Press

32. Motorman by David Ohle
Publisher: Calamari Press

33. Notes on Conceptualisms by Vanessa Place & Robert Fitterman
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse

34. How Phenomena Appear to Unfold by Leslie Scalapino
Publisher: Litmus Press

35. FLOWER CART by Lisa Fishman
Publisher: Ahsahta Press

36. The Transformation by Juliana Spahr
Publisher: Atelos

37. Mule by Shane McCrae
Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center

38. Face by Sherman Alexie
Publisher: Hanging Loose Press

39. Helsinki by Peter Richards
Publisher: Action Books

40. Dayglo by James Meetze
Publisher: Ahsahta Press

41. The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers
Bhanu Kapil
Publisher: Kelsey Street Press

42. Fairy Tales in Electri-City by Francesca Lia Block
Publisher: A Midsummer Night’s Press

43. Georgic by Mariko Nagai
Publisher: BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

44. Sitt Marie Rose by Etel Adnan
Publisher: The Post-Apollo Press

45. The Wide Road by Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian
Publisher: Belladonna*

46. Either Way I’m Celebrating by Sommer Browning
Publisher: Birds, LLC

47. Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me by Mark Leidner
Publisher: Factory Hollow Press

48. I Am a Very Productive Entrepreneur Mathias Svalina
Publisher: Mud Luscious Press

49. The Bled by Frances McCue
Publisher: Factory Hollow Press

50. The Irrationalist by Suzanne Buffam
Publisher: Canarium Books

51. A Mouth in California by Graham Foust by Publisher: Flood Editions

52. 100 Notes on Violence by Julie Carr by Publisher: Ahsahta Press

53. Brother to Brother: New Writing by Black Gay Men by Essex Hemphill, Editor
Publisher: RedBone Press

54. Torn from Troy: Odyssey of a Slave by Patrick Bowman
Publisher: Ronsdale Press

55. Radi Os by Ronald Johnson
Publisher: Flood Editions

56. Milk and Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry by Julie R Enszer, Editor
Publisher: A Midsummer Night’s Press

57. Beauties by Mary Troy
Publisher: BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

58. EVER by Blake Butler
Publisher: Calamari Press

59. Retrievals: Uncollected & New Poems, 1955-2010 by Jerome Rothenberg
Publisher: Junction Press

60. They Could No Longer Contain Themselves: A Collection of Five Flash Chapbooks by Colen, Jodzio, Jones-Yelvington, Lovelace, Miller
Publisher: Rose Metal Press

61. The Grief Performance by Emily Kendal Frey
Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center

62. Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls by Alissa Nutting
Starcherone Books

63. The Modern Predicament by George Scialabba
Publisher: Pressed Wafer

64. The Public Gardens: Poems and History by Linda Norton
Publisher: Pressed Wafer

65. Remember to Wave by Kaia Sand
Publisher: Tinfish Press

66. Book of the Given by Rusty Morrison
Publisher: Noemi Press

67. Us by Michael Kimball
Publisher: Tyrant Books

68. The Lessons by Joanne Diaz
Publisher: Silverfish Review Press

69. Pleasure by Brian Teare
Publisher: Ahsahta Press

70. The Man Suit by Zachary Schomburg
Publisher: Black Ocean

71. The Whalen Poem by William Corbett
Publisher: Hanging Loose Press

72. Master of Miniatures by Jim Shepard
Publisher: Solid Objects

73. Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry by Stephen Corey and Warren Slesinger, Editors
Publisher: Bench Press

74. The Persians by Aeschylus by Brandon Brown
Publisher: Displaced Press

75. All the Garbage of the World, Unite! by Kim Hyesoon
Publisher: Action Books

76. Erzulie’s Skirt by Ana-Maurine Lara
Publisher: RedBone Press

77. Selected Poems by Roy Fisher
Publisher: Flood Editions

78. A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism by Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young, Editors
Publisher: ChainLinks

79. Simply Separate People, Two by Lynn Crawford
Publisher: The Brooklyn Rail/Black Square Editions

80. The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems from the San Francisco Bay Watershed
Sixteen Rivers Press, Editors
Publisher: Sixteen Rivers Press

81. Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor by Terence Winch
Publisher: Hanging Loose Press

82. Had Slaves by Catherine Sasanov
Publisher: Firewheel Editions

83. The Waste Land and Other Poems by John Beer
Publisher: Canarium Books

84. First Indian on the Moon by Sherman Alexie
Publisher: Hanging Loose Press

85. SABORAMI by Cecilia Vicuna
Publisher: ChainLinks

86. Sancta by Andrew Grace
Publisher: Ahsahta Press

87. Ambient Parking Lot by Pamela Lu
Publisher: Kenning Editions

88. Sherwood Forest by Camille Roy
Publisher: Futurepoem Books

89. Waiting: Selected Nonfiction by Elizabeth Swados
Publisher: Hanging Loose Press

90. Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, Series 2 by Ammiel Alcalay, Editor
Publisher: The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY

91. Drive-By Vigils by R Zamora Linmark
Publisher: Hanging Loose Press

92. Fatal Numbers: Why Count on Chance by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Publisher: Upper West Side Philosophers

93. Moving Day by Ish Klein
Publisher: Canarium Books

94. Imaginary Syllabi by Jane Sprague, Editor
Publisher: Palm Press

95. Scary, No Scary by Zachary Schomburg
Publisher: Black Ocean

96. Determination by Kit Robinson
Publisher: Cuneiform Press

97. Against Professional Secrets by Cesar Vallejo
Publisher: Roof Books

98. [BOND, JAMES]: alphabet, anatomy, [auto]biography by Michelle Disler
Publisher: Counterpath Press

99. Monster Party by Lizzy Acker
Publisher: Small Desk Press

100. The Cosmopolitans by Nadia Kalman
Publisher: Livingston Press


  1. Bobby Dixon

      My thoughts on this were that I surprised to see some books were ranked higher than others (but I think this has more to do w/ release dates not covering the whole year 2011 — Like, Us sold less than Ever, but Us didn’t even come out until like May or April. Both books ruled, though). 

      I think it’s awesome that The Trees The Trees was number 8 and there are two Lutz books. I’m curious too, did any of these writers make any money off of these books? Just curious, not trying be judgey. 

  2. Brooks Sterritt

      Good point about the release dates. It would be interesting to see a list that somehow reflected sales in a given x-month period or something.

  3. Matthew Henriksen

      Money off books? How about keep the presses afloat? How many publishers on this list made a dime and how many put personal funds (not including volunteer time that could have been spent earning wages in another industry)? Mostly likely any money these authors might make would go to buying books off this list and books not on this list.  I’m tired of people tying art to capitalism.  The notion of art outside the central economic machine has kept artists alive.  The “artists” who suckle the sales/grants tit turn into Sharon Olds and Philip Levine.

  4. Bobby Dixon

      I’m not sure if you are referring to my comment or if you’re talking about how these books were at one time discounted. 

      If you’re referring to me, it was just a totally curious question. I don’t think about books and creating books as a profitable end. I am curious about good writing and good ways to share that writing regardless of commercial ventures. If you’re referring to “discounted books,” I don’t think that SPD selling them at a discount hurts the writer or the SPs they are Ding, as far as I know by the time SPD has these books, the publishers are already paid so discounting these books helps them (SPD) reduce their storage space so that they may make a profit off of newer items and stay in business. 
      Sorry if I totally misunderstood you and wasted your time. 

  5. Matthew Henriksen

      I’m just the old man spewing garbage from my mouth at the grocery store.  I love everything, especially SPD and small presses.  Poets, actually–I don’t like poets.  I wish we’d all die.

  6. Cal A. Mari

      Speaking for the Calamari Press books (the Lutz books & Ever), none of the writers made any money & the press lost lots of money—just like every other year. It doesn’t take a lot to be a «bestseller» on SPD (a few hundred at most).

  7. Bobby Dixon

      Thanks, that’s pretty interesting. I didn’t think the books made a lot of money (not trying to dis anyone), and am kind of peripherally aware that these writers have other primary means of income. 

      I didn’t want to come off as tacky by exposing my curiosity, but I do think it is important that awareness re money is an important one to stress. But I’m not sure why it is important to stress. 

      I have really enjoyed the Calamari books I have read and I thank you for your efforts in getting these books out. 

  8. Michael J. Martin

      2. Girlvert: A Porno Memoir by Oriana Small

      Publisher: A Barnacle Book

      This is a must-get book. I haven’t even read it, but I started reading Oriana’s blog a few years back and I never stopped checking it out. And the cover man!

  9. Michael J. Martin

      “I wish we’d all die.”

      Haven’t we already? Isn’t that why we’re poets?

  10. Don

      Very exciting that an Ibis Editions is their best selling book.

  11. Anonymous