Christopher P. Stephens, Bookman

Chris Stephens has been a book dealer since 1965 - earlier if you count childhood buying and selling.

Stephens has sold major collections to university libraries all over the world. He has operated appealing bookstores in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, Hastings on Hudson, NY and several in NYC, NY. He is a wholesale dealer to other bookstores all over the world.

Chris loves books.

Stephens now maintains a lively internet operation out of his new home in Scranton, PA.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Richard Kostelanetz

We had an exhibition of Richard Kostelanetz' work. Chris Stephens had purchased the stock from Something Else Press. The Kostelanetz books in the inventory brought Stephens and Kostelanetz together. "You should have an exhibition of my work," Richard told Chris.
Chris was happy to agree. We had an interesting book space in the garment district. It was huge - the whole 17th floor. We hung Kostelanetz' work from the ceiling down into the loft. Clever work it was. Kostelanetz combined sophisticated word play with bold graphics.
Richard supplied a list of addressees to receive an announcement of the show. He organized the guest list for the opening night party.
People came from around the world to that party. There were 250 guests. It was the biggest and best autor party we ever had. The guests were literary celebrities. They came because of Kostelantetz. And they came to such an unlikely place: Christopher P. Stephens, Bookseller, Inc - 17th floor, 325 West 38th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. No one minded the incongruity of location.
Kostelanetz had too much energy to just bask in the attention. He moved from group to group; his conversation moved from language to language. He brought guests around to show them his work and introduce them to one another. The talk was all avant garde books and art and happenings.
For months afterwards we received regrets from people not able to break away from (movie, deadline, interview, mountain climbing, high level political meeting) committments to come to the party. We'd been intrigued by his work from the beginning, but until this party we hadn't realized the extent to which Richard Kostelanetz is a star.
Kostalanetz' website: Richard Kostelanetz

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