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:

August 21, 2014
A Prayer for the Suffering
The Poison Pie Publishing House presents a new poem, A Prayer for the Suffering, which can be freely accessed here.


August 8, 2014
Four Robotic Finger Puppets!
From the distant future, at a time when all incandescent bulbs have been replaced by compact fluorescent bulbs (but before compact fluorescent bulbs have been replaced by LEDs), come four robotic finger puppets. 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.


July 31, 2014
July Ends with a Robot
The concept of a robotic mushroom was first introduced by the Poison Pie Publishing House in a creature known as Roboshroom, who appeared in the illustrated books, Tales of the Mushroom People and Tales of the Mushroom People II: Call of Cthulhushroom. The staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House are revisiting the concept of felt finger puppet representations of robots. One particularly intransigent member of the staff proved either unable or unwilling to construct an entirely new synthetic creature and instead released Roboshroom 2.0, shown in the accompanying image. If past broadsides prove a reliable predictor we can eventually expect a set of diverse robots to emerge.


July 23, 2014
The Sutra of the One Who Came Before
The Sutra of the One Who Came Before can now be freely accessed in text form, as a graphical contemplation, narrated by the author and via youtube.


July 20, 2014
Four Elemental Finger Puppets!
The Poison Pie Publishing House presents a broadside featuring four elemental finger puppets. All puppets are designed by Joseph Keffer, a co-author of such illustrated books as The Faerienomicon. Other versions of the poster are shown in the broadside page of the gallery.


July 3, 2014
A Conclave in the Caves
We present an image of some recently crafted finger puppets meeting in a rock formation that we encountered while hiking the Yahoo Falls Trail on the Kentucky side of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. This area held an abundance of unusual features, suggesting a tumultuous past only hinted at in the geological records.


June 23, 2014
Behold the Angelic Herald!
With the passing of the the summer solstice, an angelic herald has appeared, foretelling the arrival of a heavenly host, who shall quell the demonic uprising that has plagued the Poison Pie Publishing House since early June. Will the sequel to the The Faerienomicon feature a battle between angels and demons the likes of which has not been seen since the age of Genesis? Unlikely. The Poison Pie Publishing House rarely engages in activities so lacking in subtlety. However, a more nuanced description of a subsequent book is not yet forthcoming.


May 20, 2014
Quote from Lê Quan Ninh
Today we present a quote from Lê Quan Ninh (1961-), a French percussionist, on the counter-intuitive time scale of improvisation.

But it took time, I mean time spending is the thing, time spending. We have to practice, practice, practice, year after year, month after month something can appear, it takes time, it takes time. I said maybe in the panel, a composer can be really fast; usually people say "the improviser has a really fast..." because they can make an instant composition in ten minutes, for me that's absolutely wrong. "But the composer for the ten minutes he spent six months, that's too long." It is absolutely the contrary; six months is so short time, and an improviser needs maybe ten years to reach the same regions of dealing with the elements and a composer can do it very quickly, because he can see everything on the paper and he can go back and forth in the composition. An improviser to change something in him or her, it is so slow, it is very slow; that's why he needs a daily practice, a discipline. We talk about freedom and our risk our talk is always about the discipline of being free. It is really discipline.
--Lê Quan Ninh
Interview with Sevket Akinci, Michal Libera and Volkan Terzioglu, Istanbul, June 23, 2006.
full interview here.


May 11, 2014
Poetry Recordings
Audio recordings of the author reading two poems, I Feel that Echo and Bicycling in Heavy Morning Fog are now available from the Poison Pie Publishing House.


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).


February 10, 2014
The Seven Wondrously Replicating Elemental Coins
The Poison Pie Publishing House proudly announces the publication of its first fantasy role-playing module, The Seven Wondrously Replicating Elemental Coins created by David J. Keffer. The module was motivated by the acquisition of a set of gorgeous fantasy role-playing coins minted by Osborne Coinage and funded in December, 2013 through Kickstarter. The module provides an adventure in the form of seven dungeon delves through which the party can acquire the coins. The module can be freely and anonymously downloaded here. If the module and/or the coins pictured therein look interesting to you, a set of coins can be purchased at the Rare Elements Coin Store. There is a Rare Elements Coin Facebook page as well. (Disclaimer: The Poison Pie Publishing House has no official affiliation with Osborne Coinage.)


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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