Good news! After most of my books have been out of print for so long and with constant demand for some but virtually no supply, it’s been frustrating for many. And because I’ve moved around the country 30+ times and I’ve had to shed weight to get it done as well as having had a couple of movers just trash my stuff, whether losing or damaging, over the past 15-20 years, all of my own books and contributor copies went into storage and those boxes haven’t been touched since — until 2022. Early this year I started working through a ton of old unopened boxes in our basement and I’ve been elated to find some contributor copies, contracts, letters, etc., and some copies of some of my books! And I want to make a few available for purchase here.
First though, this website is focused on my writing career and isn’t an e-commerce site. So I just want make buying/selling a few copies of a few of my books happen quickly and easily because this isn’t a shop, so this isn’t flashy, sorry. I’m trying an experiment that allows me to add PayPal functionality, but that’s about it. In other words, no way to add sales tax, fees, shipping expenses or anything else. So I have to make a set fee to cover those and add that to the price of each item. I intend to keep it low and am setting it at $5. Unfortunately this means NO international (non-US) sales or shipping, so my apologies.
A FEW BASICS
- ALL books are in new (mint) condition in print (hard copy) format. These have been in storage since original publication, straight from the publisher, never having otherwise been handled, used, read or sold.
- As stated, the collective set fee to cover basic shipping, fees, taxes is required and has been added to each item’s listed price ($5).
- All copies will be autographed for free by the author (me) prior to shipment. If anyone wishes a custom inscription (a specific name, etc.), please let me know via the contact form on the webpage.
- No Returns.
Poetry Collections/Books Currently Available
- Grungy Ass Swaying (with Paula Weinman)
Long Beach, CA, Grunge City Press, 1993 — 24 unnumbered pages with small insert (40 total pages)
This collection was a collaborative experiment proposed by Weinman in which we would take opposing gender roles, go way over the top to excess, with my stated goal of modifying and veering away from the type and form of social commentary and criticism I had been known for so that instead of what reviewers called “moral outrage” at what I saw around me, this would go in the opposite direction, get completely raunchy, in an effort to use a minor theatre of the absurd tactic to make statements meant to be just as strong about both changes occuring and changes that needed to occur surrounding issues like gender roles, domestic violence, pedophilia, stalking, gender violence and more, hot button topics that were, and sadly remain, all too prevalent. To my surprise, this was my first poetry collection to wind up in the Library of Congress. Ultimately, like virtually all of my books, it’s been described and should be considered a Collector’s Item. It is in the Rare Books sections of several major Special Collections libraries (such as the University of Tennessee and SUNY Buffalo), has been largely impossible to find on the market for years, seems to remain a bit of an enticing mystery to those who have sought copies over the years.
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Grungy Ass Swaying (with Paula Weinman)
A 1993 experimental, collaborative poetry collection between Scott C. Holstad and Paula Weinman. More details above. This book is in the Library of Congress and is a collector’s item.
Los Angeles, CA, Undulating Bedsheets Productions, 1994 — 24 unnumbered pages
An eclectic book, among other locations Binge is housed in the Special Collections libraries of SUNY Buffalo, Brown University and Cambridge University.
- Scott Holstad’sBinge [Undulating Bedsheets Productions] – Modern Classic: Very Highly Recommended!
- Marvin Malone, editor of the Wormwood Review, vol. 138, 1995
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A 1994 chapbook that the Wormwood Review (most famous & frequent publisher of Bukowski, as well as Locklin, Moore, Lifshin, etc.) described as a “Modern Classic: Very Highly Recommended!” Very high praise from a legendary journal.
Kew Gardens, NY, Poet Tree, 1994 — 20 unnumbered pages.
Scott Holstad’s “quiet,” “calmer” book. Among other locations, it is housed in the Special Collections libraries of Yale University and Cambridge University. A couple of review excerpts:
- An introspective, autobiographical glimpse of a working-class hero/loner.
- Excerpt of review of Distant Visions, Again and Again by Frank Allen, Library Journal, Directory of American Poetry Books – Volume 2
- … some good quiet reflective material…where you can only walk outside and think…and hope this feeling never ends…
- Excerpt of review of Scott C. Holstad’s Distant Visions, Again and Again by Mike Halchin, Driver’s Side Airbag vol. 17, 1994
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Distant Visions, Again and Again
Scott Holstad’s most Beat-influenced as well as at times quietly nostalgic poetry collection. Considered a collector’s item.
Pittsburgh, PA, Sterling House, 1995 — 48 perfect-bound pages. 1563150433 9781563150432. Art by G.W. Horne.
Places was my biggest book project to date. Perhaps not huge in page count as some later books, it made up for it in it being my first flat-spined, perfect bound book, first with a professional artist, first with professional Hollywood head shots (taken up and down Sunset Blvd.), first “serious” contract, first advance, first royalties and the biggest press run any of my books would ever see! Probably at least three to four times the national average size press run a very well-known poet would have printed by a standard academic press. This turned out to be ambitious on the part of the publisher, however, because there are reasons even the biggest poets’ books typically come out in small press runs — few Americans read or buys contemporary poetry. Not literally, but the percentage is so tiny, it’d make some people gasp. (And those who do typically buy the modernist masters, like Thomas, Yeats, Sexton, Frost, etc.) At last glance, the book was housed in the Special Collections libraries of the University of Tennessee and University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), among others. Some review excerpts…
- …Overall a sense climbing towards tomorrow, even if today pushes you thru the industrial meat grinder for another countless day.
- Excerpt of review of Places, Undulating Bedsheets Productions, April 1996.
- Scott C. Holstad: PLACES (S.C. Holstad, P.O. Box 17657, Beverly Hills, CA 90209-3657, USA). Seit Jahren der nicht ganz einsame Poet alltaglicher Beobachtungen, personlicher Gefuhle und dokunmentiertem Zeitgeist. Sehr einfuhlsam, wenn such ausschlieBlich in Englisch.
- Excerpt of a review of Places from Germany’s EBUS Music News, 1996.
- Pulitzer Prize nominee visits ‘Places’ in personal history.
- Daily Bruin, April 15, 1996.
- Holstad’s poetry … has received much praise. His work is described by one critic as “brassy and strong.” According to The Hawaii Review, “Holstad’s poetry is reminiscent of the Beat Movement and has a Whitmanish-Ferlinghetti street feel… Michael Bugeja from Writer’s Digest Magazine wrote, ‘I enjoy Holstad’s poems and appreciate their style.’ A prolific poet, Holstad has also found the time to get married, hold down a job as editor of TSI Publications in Los Angeles and study computer engineering at UCLA.
- Excerpt of article in Higher Ground vol. 3.1, 1996.
- Scott Holstad is a hardworking poet whose [new] book, Places, has just been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry… Holstad’s poems are predominantly voice driven — and that voice is often filled with the anger of moral outrage. Poems such as “let’s give ourselves a round,” “this is what we are” and “just for kicks” express the poet’s disgust with his fellow American’s penchant for mindless violence and excess. But Holstad’s poems are just plain angry. In the poem “smoking,” the poet, having recently quit after ten years expresses a desire to “file [his] teeth / on your forehead.” Places, however, also announces some new directions for Holstad’s work — some poems reveal a quieter, more contemplative aspect of his voice… But this is not to say that Holstad has gone soft–not by any stretch of the imagination. These poems provide relief from a vision of the world which might otherwise prove too bleak for most readers… Ultimately, for Holstad, as for Bukowski, “The poem is the / crutch, the gun, the / good drink.” Need I say more?
- Excerpt of a review of Places, G.P. Lainsbury, VOX vol. 146, University of Calgary, 1996
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Scott C. Holstad’s Pulitzer-nominated book featuring a group of poems originally published in journals as diverse as Poetry Ireland Review, Pearl, Clutch, Poetry WLU, Textual Studies in Canada, Atom Mind and Long Shot (alongside Yoko Ono).
New Haven, CT, Ye Olde Font Shoppe, 1999 — 36 numbered pages. 188928937X 9781889289373
My one real post-Places book that shouldn’t and won’t “disturb” readers as so many following books would… The publisher kept this book on the market for years, but even then there was always a large demand for it both new and used. The original list price skyrocketed so quickly that after a decade, the numbers being asked for it by bookstores, resellers and pirates were surprising, yet they only kept going up. This book has been described as and is considered a “classic,” “rare” and valuable — a collector’s item. Some libraries holding it in their Special Collections include the University of Tennessee and Yale University. Review excerpts and comments:
- With his scruffy, rambling and streetwise poems, Scott C. Holstad is in the forefront of an important movement transforming American poetry.
- Legendary New York City literary icon, Edward Field, author/editor of 25+ books, winner of the Lamont and Lambda Literary awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, W.H. Auden Award, the Prix de Rome and an Academy Award.
- A cool, enjoyable, 10-ton light, flighty, dead-serious, humorous, sad collection of coffee-shop pennings and curt observations of humans dancing in their events, the raw, tired, hunkered-down spectacles of their existences – or is it a singular, shared endurance test the human race faces as a unified bundle of suction-cupped tentacles? Whores seen from a distance with a microscope, and wrestling with the bent-on-chaos landscapes of USA, Holstad’s language portrays the otherwise mundane with fresh and engaging word-plotting.
- Review of Scott C. Holstad‘s NEVER-ENDING CIGARETTES by Christopher M, First Class Magazine vol. 12, 1999
- Pay attention. Exactly this lesson Scott lays out line by insightful line in his newest chap. Beginning and ending in the confines of coffeehouses, he points out that caffeinated moments of conversation and meditation can only grow by feeding them with life experience. Scott then takes the rest of the book to describe and analyze life as he sees it in the big city. The usual bad boys, druggies and hookers run the streets of the west, the ER ward works overtime, and all around everyone’s looking for some sort of revolution: salvation for the unrighteous. Scott finds his in an open mind flowing into well-constructed verse, a hot cuppa joe, and some cool jazz. It all keeps him sane and able to sleep at night, making for a guy with something interesting to talk about.
- Review of Scott C. Holstad‘s Never-Ending Cigarettes by Pooch, Flipside Magazine vol. 120, 1999
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A book in which the Hawai’i Review described the poetry as “reminiscent of the Beat movement” and has a “Whitmanish-Ferlinghetti” street feel to it. Prominent authors who plugged the book (on the back cover) include Edward Field, Gerald Locklin and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Baltimore, PublishAmerica, 2004 — 207 perfect-bound pages. 1413741800 9781413741803
Coming in at close to 210 pages, CELLS is easily my biggest book of poetry. (The traditional poetry book is typically somewhere between 48-72 pages. It’s quite rare to exceed 100 pages and extremely rare to surpass 200. Charles Bukowski was one poet who routinely did…) The book received numerous good reviews and great praise, but because of a combination of its size, marketing expenses and unique logistical distribution challenges, it’s original list retail price was easily the highest of any of my books, either more than twice as much or two and a half times as much as the next highest priced of my books. Royalties were small but study though. Some reviews and reactions:
- Scott Holstad thinks in poetry, in rhythmical waves. His imagination surges ahead, large and generous, the cut of his lines always clean and firm…‘Tennessee Football Saved My Ass’ reminds us of Holstad’s unfailing, albeit dark sense of humor.
- Excerpt of a description of Cells appearing as a back cover blurb written by Marilyn Kallet, Professor Emerita, University of Tennessee, 20+ year Director of the UT Creative Writing program, Knoxville Poet Laureate and award-winning author of 20+ books.
- ‘I am a creation of turbulence,’ Scott C. Holstad writes in his new book Cells. Indeed! Cells is fierce, funny, tender, and devastating. Hang on for your life…
- Award-winning critic, biographer, poet and essayist Robert Polito, Director of the Writing Program and Chair of the Humanities Department at the New School. Additionally, founder of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at the New School, President of the Poetry Foundation several times and recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography.
- These are visceral, gut wrenching, bloodletting, even damning lines that will open you up, cut at your heart… Read this collection and you will never be the same.
- Excerpt of a reader review of Cells by AF McKinley on Amazon
- Cells is as grand as it is explosive. Scott Holstad’s urgent and unflinching honesty will leave you breathless. A brave and heartbreaking book written by a fearless poet.
- Poet and writer Lisa Zaran, award-winning author of a dozen books
- Powerful. That’s the first word that came to mind when I was able to once more create conscious thought after I started reading this book of poetry. A dark delving into a world most of us would rather decline insight, Mr. Holstad enlightens us with his downward spiral with his own demons and the path out… I won’t lie. These aren’t happy poems. No, they are the work of a survivor. And I applaud the raw vein he’s exposed in this book… If you read only one book of poetry this year, make it this one.
- Excerpt of a reader review of Cells by CL Huth on Amazon
- When I finished reading ‘Cells‘, I felt I had taken a ride with Mr. Holstad, felt I knew the man quite well. Unlike many collections of poetry, this one contains more than a central theme… Each poem is more akin to a chapter and taken together they form a loosely woven tale; or perhaps the experience is more like spirits of half-remembered nightmares that lead to a ghost of an understanding about oneself. Describe it how you will, this is poetry with a jagged edge, and it cuts deeply.
- Excerpt of a reader review of Cells by Barry G on Amazon
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Holstad’s biggest book of poetry, at over 200 pages. A collector’s item.
St. John, KS, Chiron Review Press, 1999 — 64 perfect-bound pages. 0943795389 9780943795386
The Napalmed Soul is one of my favorites of the books I’ve written and for those of you that have survived it, that statement may confirm some things for you or possibly cause you grave alarm. This book was one of FIVE I had published in 1999 alone and without intention it seemed to fit nicely with its 1999 sibling, Shadows Before the Maiming. As it happened, Shadows came out a few months before this one and both were released in limited edition small press runs and both sold out damn fast. Shadows went fast and got some press I didn’t anticipate so that the book was labeled “horror poetry” and I was thus a horror writer. Reviewers of Shadows were kind and fair but many viewed it as perhaps brutal and messy. Well, they didn’t have to wait long for The Napalmed Soul to arrive to find out what my view of “horror” was! I replied to a couple of interviewers that I thought any secret to any [minor] “success” I might have writing “horror” was likely due to my conviction that, unlike many other writers, I didn’t feel the need to engage the paranormal — that life offered enough horrors on its own. These two books earned many labels such as Horror Poetry, Psychological Horror, Slasher Porn, Splatter Punk and more. Not my original intention, but this seemed to hold the attention of some people out there, so I’ll take it. And no bad reviews! It seems to have become more and more difficult for people to find LEGIT (legal) copies of The Napalmed Soul (and Shadows), so their market value has continued to rise so that all I’ve been able to find in 2022 has been an illegal PDF copy of one of them going for triple digits. So, these are now both described as “rare,” “collector’s items,” etc., and I’m just glad I found a few to make available. Here are a few things that were said about this book:
- Your most recent book, The Napalmed Soul, is frequently described as “disturbing.” What kind of people do you think your work attracts?
- Question asked of Scott C. Holstad in an interview with Jonathan Penton, Publisher of Sick Puppy Press (2000)
- This poetry is about laughing in death’s face, begging it to play Russian Roulette with you.” [When reading], “my stomach became twisted in knots…and [I] became nauseous toward the middle… [But] I could not put this book down…It’s the same feeling I got when I read American Psycho, though the subject matter is different… You can’t read this book and not be greatly affected.
- Excerpt of a reader review of The Napalmed Soul by ZM Gold on Amazon
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The Napalmed Soul
Horror Poetry? Psychological Horror? Slasher Porn, Splatter Punk — WHAT? Maybe words like “Breakdown” and “Insanity” could be more fitting. Virtually impossible to find, this book is very rare and remains controversial to this day. Ready to travel down the rabbit hole?
Baton Rouge, Gothic Press, 1999 — 52 perfect-bound pages. 091304508X 9780913045084. Cover art by Margaret Ballif Simon.
Number Five of the Gothic Chapbook series.
*** As seen on TODAY’s August 8, 2022 holiday special, “65 Best Halloween Quotes: Short Halloween Quotes from Movies,” where in an excerpt from Shadows Before The Maiming, Scott Holstad was attributed with one of the 65 Best (known) Halloween quotes, joining quotes from such authors and celebrities as Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Oscar Wilde, Sue Grafton, John Steinbeck, Vincent Price, H.P. Lovecraft, William Shakespeare, Anne Rice, Edgar Allen Poe and other notables. This piece was then picked up and published on websites such as Yahoo, Latest Movs and Flipboard.
As stated, this was my first book to literally be described by the press as “horror poetry.” It was my first book to go all out on the blood, gore and insanity. It would not be the last. It was listed in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume 11 (2000), published by Constable and Co., an esteemed British publisher founded in 1795, known for publishing authors such as Sir Walter Scott, George Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker and more.
Ultimately, Shadows Before the Maiming has proven to be my most successful and popular book, which has become significant to me. It’s been amazing to see a small book of poetry with an average retail price skyrocket in value and not only maintain that but keep growing over many years so that, like a few others, but book is considered “rare,” “a collector’s item,” etc., and has become incredibly hard to find at time, and when one does so, quite often the market value price averages have been very high – in triple digits. I’m happy that I was able to stumble on to some in a box sealed away for years and now make them available to any interested parties here. Finally, among other locations, the book is housed in the Special Collections libraries of the University of Tennessee, LSU and Yale University. Some reviews and comments…
- When poetry focuses on the more sinful, cruel, and pathological side of human nature, we typically refer to it as “dark.” I wouldn’t describe Scott Holstad’s poetry that way. His works are so violent, angry, and self-effacing that they seem to transcend darkness; they are so engorged with pain that questions of morality and immorality seem irrelevant. Despite his recent Pulitzer nomination, Scott remains active on the small press circuit, which is odd, because you’d think most small presses would be afraid to print this stuff.
- Unlikely Stories Presents Scott Holstad. Jonathan Penton, Unlikely Stories
- Themes of self-mutilation and dementia comprise a good portion of this new (burnt) offering by one of our frequent poetic contributors. His natural style makes the images even more unsettling. Place them beside several gothic pieces, and you’ve got an unassuming take on the dark and forbidden. Scott’s words, clear and sharp as the knife cuts on his body, are not borne of sympathy, but of the need for redemption. Short, quick lines and clarity of language give these poems of blood and death focus and power. Once again, Mr. Holstad writes with soiled hands so that ours remain clean. We should be grateful…”. [52 pages. $7.00. Gothic Press, 4998 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge LA, 90808-3043]
- A review of Shadows Before the Maiming by Pooch, Flipside Magazine, 2000
- On unexpectedly writing a horror book in Shadows Before the Maiming. And then finding out my next book, The Napalmed Soul, would be considered far more “disturbing” than any of my previous books. AND my surprise to find most books that followed, intentional or not, were also viewed as “horror,” maybe psychological horror, but still disturbing nonetheless. So, the story behind Shadows Before the Maiming…
[There are actually quite a few interesting things about this book, in terms of the publisher and its history, the series in which this book is a part of, the artist and more, and there are some additionally interesting things about a few other books here, so I may write a few things up and provide a link here because this webpage is already approaching overloaded and I didn’t intend for that, so I’ll just move on to my final comments on Shadows will be for the present.]
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Shadows Before the Maiming
How does one define horror, or horror poetry for that matter? Scott C. Holstad doesn’t find it in the supernatural; he finds it in everyday life and living. Part goth, part creepy/horror, part slasherfest, this book remains legendary, especially as just one of the 15 total books comprising the elite Gothic Chapbook Series (Shadows is Gothic Chapbook #5). The poems in this book originally appeared in magazines like Midnight Zoo, Dark Planet, A Taste for Flesh, Virgin Meat, Isolation, The Nocturnal Lyric, Dream International Quarterly, Wicket Mystic and more.
- Every book will have an additional $5 charge for Taxes, Fees and Shipping costs built into the price listed for each item. NO RETURNS.
- ALL books are in new, mint condition in print (tactile) format.
- Every item is an original, authentic LEGAL book written by Scott C. Holstad (the author) and published by the listed, original publisher, Gothic Press.
- Each book will be autographed by Scott C. Holstad prior to shipment. A custom inscription (buyer or recipient’s name, etc.) will be freely made upon request. Please use the contact form below and provide sufficient information identifying your purchase, contact info and requested inscription.