reimagining genre ⋆ rewilding literature
Perelandra is the bookselling arm of Wolverine Farm, a 501(c)3 nonprofit publisher in Fort Collins' river district. We believe that holding space for literature is an essential part of building and sustaining community.Our sentient shelves house the largest collection of contemporary poetry, art books, and scholarship in northern Colorado, with an entire room dedicated to poetry alone! But we are enthusiastic about all genres, the ancient, the new, and how it all deepens understanding.In addition to celebrating great literature, Perelandra funds a monthly Reader in Residence; collaborates with schools, nonprofits, breweries, and artists; and hosts the Wild Carrot Society for Technological Disobedience.
In 2020, while building shelves at the publick house, we remembered Perelandra, the diluvial planet Venus (and title) in C. S. Lewis's cosmic trilogy. Perelandra was diverse, erratic, ecstatic, ineffable—everything we wanted a bookstore to be. The name keeps us in touch with our dreams, and we hope that visits to the bookshop do the same for you.
“This, so far as I can see it, is the specific value or good of literature considered as Logos; it admits us to experiences other than our own.”
— C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism
What happens when we focus on our reading lives? What does reading in the 21st century mean? What does it make possible?Perelandra is home to the Reader in Residence, a one-of-a-kind program where community members spend one or two months reading as a creative act. Each resident hones their practice and advocates for literature simply by being present, reading a book at the shop.After their tenure, residents reflect on their lives as readers in conversation with Joe. These reflections and more can be found on Substack, where you can also subscribe and help keep the dream alive.
Readers in Residence
“Out of doors the day was setting off for joy and movement.”
— Jean Giono, The Song of the World
The book wagon was Perelandra’s walkabout shop and mobile studio space from 2019-20. Home-built in the early days of the covid-19 pandemic, it featured 100 square feet of open-air shelving and a tiny interior studio.In summers past, the book wagon could be found full of bargain books and oddities at The Lyric and New Belgium; it is currently enjoying retirement in a garden in northwest Fort Collins :)
“A work in progress quickly becomes feral.”
— Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
On genre: When genre is reimagined, the physical geography of a bookstore changes. New, hybrid genres are no less identifiable than conventional ones, and an abundance of genres—like species—leads to more diverse, particular, and distinct dynamics. By playing with genre, we seek not simply consciousness but sentience.On order: Conventional wisdom holds that the best way to find particular titles is to keep them alphabetized (by author’s last name). But there are other, more organic ways to limit the territory a given book may inhabit, which is what alphabetization does. Differential order abides the fact that books are more than the sum of their authors’ identities.On inventory: Like booksellers of old, we log book sales by hand, which means that we cannot automatically (i.e. algorithmically) re-order books that have sold; even perennial bestsellers must be considered against the shop’s ever-evolving ecosystem of literature. This keeps us in touch with the experience of books, not simply their exchange.
Beyond Conflict (current affairs)
Provocations (experimental, sui generis)
Brave New Word (special new releases)
Everyday Alchemy (food, drink)
ECP² (essential contemp. poets/presses)
Visionaries (feminist, avant garde)
Continuous Motion (history, culture)
Legerdemain (storytelling masters)
Required Reading (individual canon)
Time Machines (class, commons)
Uncommon Type (rare, antiquarian)
Radical Imagination (sci-fi, fantasy)
Living by Fiction (literature, stories)
Ritualistic Utterance (poetry, poetics)
Deep Story (social justice, humanities)
Archetypes & Cosmos (astro, occult)
Wolverine Farm (in-house & local)
Western Philosophy (religion, prayer)
Eastern Philosophy (buddhism, taoism)
Second Nature (ecology, wilderness)
Memory Castles (memoir, bio, essay)
Art & Visuals (artists, graphic novels)
Icons & Critics (legends, commentary)
Contemporary Fiction (notable, new)
Library of Perelandra (anthological)
Human-Nature (social & natural science)
Harmonices Mundi (music, sound)
Time & Space (historical, biographical)
Mouthful of Diamonds (great sounds)
You Cannot Go Wrong (must read)
Reading Is Art. (residency selections)
Paperback Classics (market, vintage)
Wild Carrot Society
“Propaganda ceases where simple dialogue begins.”
— Jacques Ellul, Propaganda
The Wild Carrot Society for Technological Disobedience is an irregular gathering at Wolverine Farm. We engage perspectives before and beyond the digital in a variety of creative ways. Gatherings are free and open to all interested parties. The only requisite is to leave anything that can be construed as a device at home or at the door.
To evaluate & respond to the ubiquity of digital infrastructures.
To empower non-digital sites of communion.
To resist the colonial imagination of technological society.
A safe space for the untechnical recovery of self-knowledge.
Here is something I have learned about advocacy: it doesn't stop at the identification (recognition, acknowledgment) of a person or cause: it moves from names and labels to their underlying vitality: it seeks personhood.And it does the reverse... Read more →
I'm always excited about the person serving as Reader in Residence at Perelandra Bookshop but this month's resident deserves special recognition. Her name is Lucia Hall, and at 12 years old, she is our youngest Reader yet.Lucia's desire to fill this role is commendable... Read more →
Bookshop visitors: Have you read all these books?Me: Not even close.Also me: That is a really fascinating, humbling, and apocalyptic question.If you read a book a week—an ambitious pace, to my mind—for a year, you'd cover 52 titles. That's 260 over five years; 520 over... Read more →
Bookshop visitors: Where do you get all these books?Me: We work with dozens of world-class distributors to access books that make us feel radically imaginative and alive. Community members share their passions and their gratitude; we follow through on their every suggestion, and welcome frequent donations.Also me: Beautiful people die every day. People I wish... Read more →
Many people love Wolverine Farm and have made it what it is today. But (especially as Fort Collins grows) many more either don't know that it exists, or—seeing as we serve beer, make food, and host rentals—what it exists for. So I wanted to take a moment to speak to the meaning of Wolverine Farm, as I understand it.Wolverine Farm means that creativity, ecology, and hospitality are not just theoretically intertwined but form a practical basis for sustainable business... Read more →