Tag Archives: Third Man Books

Every Single One’s Got a Story to Tell: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Publishing of Third Man Books

thirdmanIf you’ve ever jammed out to the thumping bassline of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, you’re probably already familiar with the extraordinary Jack White and his record label, Third Man Records. What you might not know about is Third Man Records’ sister company, a hard-rock publishing house aptly named Third Man Books. Officially launched in the summer of 2014 with a solo music-poetry hybrid title called Language Lessons: Volume I, Third Man Books has been steadily gathering steam to become an indie publishing force to be reckoned with. On March 23, the Detroit Metro Times sat down with co-publisher Chet Weise to talk shop.

Third Man Books was created in order to expand the brand’s creative production from solely music to “any and every form of expression, from music to poetry, fiction to film,” according to an interview in Publishers Weekly with Weise. Their motto is “Third Man Books: Where Your Turntable’s Not Dead & Where Your Page Still Turns.”

While Third Man Books definitely honors its roots by producing titles on and payingtotalchaos homage to the history of music (such as this fall’s Total Chaos: The Story of Iggy and the Stooges), they’re also dedicated to publishing powerful contemporary poetry and literary fiction. The founders – White, Weise, and Ben Swank – always knew that “the aim of the press would be to publish anything that is good, relevant, meaningful, and beautiful,” said Weise.

“Good, relevant, meaningful, and beautiful” includes titles by well-known members of the literary canon (like Hidden Water, a collection by Frank Stanford) and up-and-coming new talents (like My Dinner With Ron Jeremy by Kendra DeColo and When The World Wounds by Kiini Salaam.

The indie sensibilities of Third Man Records transferred over perfectly to launching an indie publisher, and while many of the company’s fans are drawn in by the high-voltage literature alone, many of them also follow them from the music scene.

“As I always suspected/knew,” Weise says, “people who have a genuine, engaged taste for music are usually involved in language, too.”

A lyrical, literary revolution – we’re proud to be groupies for Third Man Books!

Leave a comment

Filed under Our Publishers

Copper Canyon Press and Third Man Books Give New Life to Prolific Southern Writer

Some authors neWhatAboutThisver get to see their work grow in popularity in their lifetime – think F. Scott Fitzgerald and the surging popularity of The Great Gatsby years after his death. This is the case with Frank Stanford, a prolific poet who has had two collections published posthumously this year, from Copper Canyon Press and Third Man Books. Since Stanford’s suicide at 29 in 1978, his fan base has grown slowly, with little work available to the majority of readers. The titles What About This from Copper Canyon Press (April 2015) and  Hidden Water from Third Man Books (August 2015) give readers a definitive collection of Stanford’s works, and the titles are getting attention.

What About This brings together Stanford’s published and unpublished manuscripHiddenWaterts and poems, and drafts and segments of previously uncollected work. Third Man Books’ companion title, Hidden Water is a collection of previously unpublished poems and drafts, as well as photographs and letters that illuminate the person behind Stanford’s mysterious character. As the Houston Chronicle said on August 21, 2015 in an article about the “mainstream acceptance of the author,” Stanford has never been widely known or read, but instead has “floated, ghostlike, through certain segments of the literary South.” The article continues, saying the two collections “make Stanford’s work feel legitimate, as though he’s been recognized by the academy and will soon take his place in anthologies and high school textbooks.”


Illustration from “Hidden Water” by Ginny Stanford. Used by permission of C.D. Wright, Ginny Stanford, Estate of Frank Stanford.

Both Third Man Books and Copper Canyon Press publish stunning poetry, and they were naturally drawn to Stanford’s talent and mystery. Copper Canyon Press was captivated by Stanford’s lyrical and dramatic voice and his range in topics covered, from politics and race to culture and humanity, while Third Man Books’s title provides the intimate Stanford–replete with letters and photographs that paint the human Stanford.

These titles introduce Stanford to new readers and gives long-time fans a definitive collection of his works. Clearly, for Third Man Books and Copper Canyon Press, intense, dramatic, and thought-provoking work deserves to be published. And read.



1 Comment

Filed under Bookslinger App, Our Publishers

Daniel Handler Makes Martini While Reciting Poem from Third Man Books Title


The incomparable Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) has given Janaka Stucky’s poem “WE ARE NOT EMPTY WE CAST SPELLS” the ultimate reading by reciting it while making himself a martini (stirred, not shaken). That poem and many more are collected in The Truth Is We Are Perfect, published by Third Man Books.


Leave a comment

Filed under Opener

Third Man Books Declared Publisher of the Month by Rough Trade

Between a poetry/prose/vinyl collection, and the work of crowd-favorite lyrical poet Janaka Stucky called The Truth Is We Are Perfect, Third Man Books has a lot going for it.

Rough Trade Bookstore

Rough Trade Bookstore

Now, independent English bookstore Rough Trade is promoting Third Man Books as its publisher of the month, which includes taking the exclusive rights to selling the first two titles by Third Man Books for a short time.

Third Man Books is a new venture of Third Man Records, founded by Jack White of The White Stripes. Whether it’s music or books, the mantra is motion:

Where your turntable’s not dead.
Where your page still turns.


In celebration of the collaboration, Third Man Books will be heading over to London on May 29 to host an event featuring readings, performances, and special guest speakers with Rough Trade East.

Leave a comment

Filed under Our Publishers