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The Last-Minute Literary Gift Guide

2013 December 17
by Wren


Hello, holiday shoppers. Have you looked at a calendar lately? Did you look right now and realize, “Eegads, the holidays are almost HERE, and I still don’t know what I’m getting for my literary friends!” We hear you and your palpitating heart. If you, like us, still have a few literary gifts to buy before the holidays (or if you’re looking to round out your own wish list), we’ve got you covered, and then some. The Hazel & Wren staff (Have you met them?  You should.) has put together this mega-list for all of us last-minute folks. Happy holiday madness to all!



Poet Necklace

poet necklace“I’ve always had this weird hang-up about calling myself a “poet” and seem to avoid identifying myself as such when not in the company of other writers. I suppose it has to do with doubts about what being a “poet” actually entails, mixed with a healthy dose of social awkwardness. Wearing this ridiculously adorable, simple necklace would be a step towards owning that title. See, I’m a poet. I’m a poet, and I have the necklace to prove it.” —Jessica M.

Keats Poetry Art Print

“A seventh grade English class lesson about Ode on a Grecian Urn is the reason I turned out to be the poetry geek that I am. That’s why I still have such a soft spot for Keats (or it could be that I’m Fanny Brawne reincarnated), and why I think I need this gorgeous print in my living room right away. JOHN KEATS IS NEVER DEAD.” —Jessica M.

Library Embosser and poe toteOut of Print Clothing

“You know that friend who has so many books you’re too scared to buy him a new book because he probably already has the signed first edition in at least two copies? Well, improve his book collection with this personalized embosser so he can spend the rest of the year stamping his books.” —Taylor

“I was going to select just one item from this online shop, but I honestly couldn’t decide. I’m torn between the Poe-ka Dot tote bag, the Alice in Wonderland iPhone case, or basically any of these t-shirts.” —Taylor



Lit Mags

“Every writer should subscribe to at least one, so giving someone a subscription to a literary magazine they’ll love is a great gift. Reading a lit mag is a wonderful leisure activity, but also shows your writer that you support their career ambitions. There are plenty of magazines to choose from, so knowing a little about your writer’s tastes is encouraged, but if that fails, extend a subscription they already have (my favorites include Fence, Poetry, and 32 Poems, if you’re curious). Check out The Review Review for lit mag listings and reviews of individual issues that can help you choose the perfect gift subscription.” —Timothy


“This one is a little dicey as many writers are super picky about their tools. A bad notebook can throw even the most disciplined writer off their game. I’ve personally asked people to stop buying notebooks for me unless they know exactly what I use (Leuchtturm1917, medium size, gridded pages, any color cover). Moleskine is the classic writer’s notebook, popular with writers everywhere. Field Notes, Whitelines, and Rhoida are solid bets too, but if none of those quite do it for your writer, try a custom notebook from Bound. While they may not have the variety of size and style as other companies, they make up for it by letting you choose the page style and what order they go in.” —Timothy

51v5MPZKHuL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Library Due Date Card iPhone Case and
Personal Library Kit

“I’ve been in a very nostalgic mood for libraries lately. My hometown is trying to sell our Carnegie Library building. It’s right across the street from the house I grew up in. So that explains these first two suggestions.” —Jessica R.

S. by J.J. Abrams

“I’d suggest this book only because I want it! I hear it’s an experience.” —Jessica R.

A Christmas Carol Holiday Gift Poster

“I include this because I’ve always wanted the Pride and Prejudice one. Still waiting on that.” —Jessica R.



A Good Pen

“This may involve some sleuthing. Does your loved one like blue or black ink? Ball point, or fountain? If you don’t have time for said research, typically, something nice will do. Or, just give someone YOUR favorite pen… now that’s fodder for a story!” —Liz


“Many people who write, also write letters. Whether it’s heavy artisan paper or monogramed stationery – your writer friends will write on it. *Bonus: provide postage if you expect a letter on your gifted stationery.” —Liz


“Personally, these creatures tickle my fancy without measure. If you have a special, cerebral-someone with a random or whimsical fancy, indulge it! Generally speaking, the more classic and antique, the better! … We’re talking clown figurines, old maps, used postcards, whatever.” —Liz



Stocking Stuffers

“How about a stocking stuffer that won’t make you sick? The last couple years have seen a wave of lovingly crafted minicomics. They’re small enough to be slid into old socks hung with care, nestled into gift baskets, or slipped in with just about any other present, and I’m pretty sure there’s something for everyone.

Annie Mok makes all sorts of great comics, but my favorites are “Stitching Together,” a collection of stories about Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog, and “James Joyce,” which is mostly an adaption of “Araby” but also contains some stuff about Joyce’s life and his dirty letters.

do not disturbAnna Bongiovanni has an Etsy shop, and I’d suggest heading there and buying “Selfies,” which is sort of about an Archie-style gang of kids if those kids grew into their 20s in Minneapolis and had an unhealthy obsession with themselves.

Laura Park’s “Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream” is full of tiny, meticulously constructed autobiographical strips, but it’s the universal quiet, varied, and beautiful autobio (as opposed to the self-important, jaded autobio).

How about a gift that keeps on giving? Send someone a subscription to Oily Comics (an envelope stuffed with 5.5″x4.25″ comics each month), Retrofit (a crazy variety of formats and artists with fun extras), or Youth In Decline’s Frontier (quarterly full-color comics by superstars Sam Alden, Emily Carroll, and more).” —Aaron


3 Responses
  1. Aaron permalink
    December 17, 2013

    I want that personal library kit real bad.

  2. wren permalink
    December 17, 2013

    I KNOW, RIGHT? I’m also digging on the Poe tote bag…nerd alert…

  3. December 17, 2013

    Hi, H&W! Thanks so much for including me! Actually, some of that stuff is out of print, but here’s what I got available:


    Annie Mok,
    Philly / ex-MPLS

Comments are closed.