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Shippy piece featured in the Open Letters Monthly blog

Published in Open Letters Monthly  

"On My Nightstand" by Peter Jay Shippy
Monday August 11th 2008, 10:21 am

Editors Note: in this new feature, we'll be asking the writers and artists we admire to share what's taking up space on their nightstands …

A year ago our nightstand was a Campana Brothers' "Blow-Up" table. It looked like a still photo of an explosion at the Pick-up-sticks factory topped with polished glass. Muito fresco!

Now, our nightstand is a Diaper Champ cardboard box. It looks like a cardboard box.
Now our box is piled with diapers, wipes, saline drops, sippy cups, and board books: Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, The Owl and the Pussycat, There's a Wocket in My Pocket, Bottoms, and Good Night Moon.

What happened? A perverse thiever & exchanger? No, Stella and Beatrix happened on August 21, 2007.

Actually, at the bottom of the pile are a few books I'm using in my Mutant Novella class this fall–Paul Fattaruso's Travel in the Mouth of the Wolf, Anne Carson's The Autobiography of Red, Will Eno's Thom Pain (based on nothing) and Marjane Strapi's Persepolis.  But who am I kidding? Which of those writers can beat Tanja Kirschner's magnum opus of animal bums?

Plus, where's the challenge in teaching books you've actually read?

The girls? Beatrix adores Nina Laden's Peek-a Who. Stella digs Chris Raschka's jazzy book, despite the fact she's not a big fan of Parker. No, she prefers Albvert Ayler. She likes her aggression naked.