Welcome to the Poison Pie Publishing House!

Featured Books:

The Faerienomicon is an Encyclopedia of Faerie, rendered in felt, combining the crafts of felt finger puppets, local photography in the wild places of East Tennessee and non-idiomatic story telling. It is intended for both children and adventurous adults.

The Ruins of My Daughter's Cities is an imaginary travelogue of a father and daughter through cities invented as the basis for providing a better understanding between them. The novel borrows literary devices from Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities".


News Updates:

October 5, 2014
Four Heroic Finger Puppets!
The Poison Pie Publishing House presents a new broadside featuring four heroes from the forthcoming novel Poison Pie vs the Implacable Absence by Henry Gorton & David Keffer. In this broadside, presented by the Poison Pie Publishing House, each finger puppet is designed by a different member of the staff of the PPPH. We imagine that these puppets and others presented in the broadside page of the gallery are being created for a follow-up illustrated book to the The Faerienomicon. There are early character histories and role-playing statistics for these characters here.


October 1, 2014
A Prayer Book for the Damned
Quite unexpectedly, A Prayer Book for the Damned seems to miraculously be filling with poems, almost of its own accord. October begins with a A Prayer for Dementia.


September 21, 2014
Numismatists of the Great Wheel
New content has been added to the sneak peak of the forthcoming fantasy role-playing module Numismatists of the Great Wheel, an adventure set in the Planescape universe, which allows a party to acquire the ten alignment coins minted by the Rare Elements team. The new content includes descriptions of the delves associated with the first two coins and the first several NPC histories. The module in its current state can be freely and anonymously downloaded here.


September 17, 2014
Quote from Labor and Monopoly Capital by Harry Braverman
Today we present a quote from Harry Braverman (1920-1976), an American Marxist, on the subject of the impact of the universal market on leisure.

In a society where labor power is purchased and sold, working time becomes sharply and antagonistically divided from non-working time, and the worker places an extraordinary value upon this "free" time, while on-the-job time is regarded as lost or wasted. Work ceases to be a natural function and becomes an extorted activity, and the antagonism to it expresses itself in a drive for the shortening of hours on the one side, and the popularity of labor-saving devices for the home, which the market hastens to supply, on the other. But the atrophy of the community and the sharp division from the natural environment leaves a void when it comes to the "free" hours. The filling of time away from the job also becomes dependent upon the market, which develops to an enormous degree those passive amusements, entertainments, and spectacles that suit the restricted circumstances of the city and are offered as substitutes for life itself. Since they become the means of filling all the hours of "free" time, they flow profusely from corporate institutions which have transformed every means of entertainment and "sport" into a production process for the enlargement of capital. By their very profusion, they cannot help but tend to a standard of mediocrity and vulgarity which debases popular taste, a result which is further guaranteed by the fact that the mass market has a powerful lowest-common-denominator effect because of the search for maximum profit. So enterprising is capital that even where effort is made by one or another section of the population to find a way to nature, sport, or art through personal activity and amateur of "underground" innovation, these activities are rapidly incorporated into the market so far as is possible.
--Harry Braverman
Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, Monthly Review Press, New York, 1974, pp. 278-9.


April 30, 2014
An International Journal of Exploratory Meta-Living
The inaugural issue of An International Journal of Exploratory Meta-Living has been published. It features a lengthy interview with the Editor-In-Chief of the Poison Pie Publishing House. An electronic version of the issue can be anonymously downloaded free-of-charge here.


April 2, 2014
A Literature of Non-Idiomatic Improvisation: A Condensed Statement

With the publication of The Faerienomicon by the Poison Pie Publishing House and the corresponding claim that the writing within the book was generated via a non-idiomatic, improvisational process, we at the Poison Pie Publishing House have been virtually inundated with virtual requests for clarification of the term. While a lengthy article on the subject written in a scholarly style is available, most folks want a short and to-the-point description.

Non-idiomatic, improvisational writing is a creative process by which a writer generates passages outside existing genres of literature without the aid of either a previously written draft or extensive post-editing.

Non-idiomatic, improvisation originated in music and the musical analogy remains useful in understanding its application to literature. Music is generated via both improvisation and composition, two forms that typically have readily identifiable differences and relative strengths and weaknesses. So too can writing be generated via improvisation and more traditional composition. The same characteristics, both thematic and stylistic, that distinguish improvised music from composed music are apparent in the comparison of the analogous literatures. There exists a freedom and spontaneity in improvised writing, which attracts those with "an impatience for the gruesomely predictable" (D. Bailey). At the same time, improvised writing may be vulnerable to a lack of complexity, unless the writer engages in an intensive regimen of practice, which maintains the improvisational creative faculties at the ready. Such a model is again taken from the explicitly stated practice habits of non-idiomatic, improvisational musicians.

Some musicologists eschew the term, "non-idiomatic improvisation", since, once a non-generic style is created and invoked multiple times, it becomes a new idiom. The Poison Pie Publishing House embraces the term "non-idiomatic improvisation" as an ideal toward which one strives, an endless process in which each subsequent creative act is disconnected from the previous. An appealing way to think of non-idiomatic improvisation is as a Zen riddle. Once you create a non-idiomatic process, it no longer exists.

This condensed explanation is also available via free, anonymous download here (pdf file).


December 10, 2012
The Sutra of Reverse Possession by David J. Keffer has been published in both paperback and ebook formats, available from the shop. "The Sutra of Reverse Possession" is a novel of non-idiomatic improvisation, written from 2010 to 2012 in Seoul, Korea and Knoxville, TN.



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