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Bookstores may seem to be far and few between, however mom-and-pop bookstores are sweet finds for die-hard readers. We came across a bookstore that certainly caught our attention. It is the oldest continuous poetry book shop in the United States. Grolier Poetry Book Shop located in Boston's Harvard Square stocks over 15,000 current volumes of trade, small press and university publications, as well as books related to prosody, poetry markets and spoken word CD's.
The original shop, founded in 1927 by Adrian Gambet and Gordon Cairnie, stocked mainly private press books, some poetry and a sampling of avant-garde literature. In 1976, then owner Louisa Solano developed the bookstore as an exclusive showcase for poetry. She stocked some 15,000 current poetry volumes, emphasizing small press. Solano also introduced autograph/reading parties, intercollegiate poetry reading series and co-sponsored poetry prizes. In April 2006, Solano sold the Grolier Book Shop to Ifeanyi Menkiti, poet and professor of philosophy at Wellesley College.
Grolier will continue to advance the cause of poetry, by expanding on the foundation laid by previous owners. They will develop interest in poetry among a more diversified audience, and promote the written and spoken art of poetry. Grolier Poetry Book Shop continues to be a key and vibrant player in creating a nourishing environment for the works of poets. If you are a poet living in the Boston area, you probably stumbled across this niche bookstore. If you don't live in the area, then check out their website http://www.grolierpoetrybookshop.org/. Hats off to the massive poetry collection found in this unique book shop! Wouldn't your poetry group have a field day in this place?