Ben Rybeck

About Ben Rybeck

Benjamin Rybeck is marketing director at Brazos Bookstore and the author of The Sadness, a novel forthcoming from Unnamed Press in June 2016. He is a regular contributor to Kirkus Reviews, and his writing also appears in Electric Literature, Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, The Seattle Review, The Texas Observer, and elsewhere.

Ben’s Hyperbolic Brazos Bulletin: National Poetry Month Edition

March 22, 2016, by

4_25 Martin Rock CoverWith April around the corner, we thought we’d check in with one of Houston’s literary hot spots, Brazos Bookstore, to get the scoop on what they have specially planned for National Poetry Month. Here’s what Ben Rybeck, Marketing Director of Brazos Bookstore, has to say… 

Ah, springtime—can you smell it in the air: scents of decay, of heartbreak, of existential dread? With the blossoming flowers and warmer days comes National Poetry Month. At Brazos, we love hosting poets—especially the ones who bum our shit out (no, no, in a good way!)—and to celebrate poetry in April (insert some stock phrase about how it’s “the cruelest month”), we have a roster of the local and the national, the burgeoning and the established. Here are three such upcoming events:

Calypso Editions Reading

Saturday, April 9, 7pm

For more information click here

Houston poet Robin Davidson is a boss—but you don’t have to believe me: her boss-ness has been confirmed by official government decree. Yes, Davidson is Houston’s current—and second—Poet Laureate (she’ll finish her term next year). It’s a magnificent position—the kind that seems, in its own way, as far-fetched as wanting to be an astronaut, or a president. Wait, you can be a poet—like, officially?? (Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be poets? No, I guess I should consider my audience here.)

But Davidson also runs Calypso Editions, which is another rare thing: a thriving poetry press—and right here in Houston, no less! So join us for a collection of Calypso poets reading their works. Nobody should ever forget: Houston is a serious poetry town—take that, Austin snobs!—so come honor Calypso, one of our great treasures. Continue reading

Ben’s Hyperbolic Brazos Bulletin

October 6, 2015, by

One of the hot spots of Houston’s literary life is Brazos Bookstore. We are thrilled to have Ben Rybeck join An Open Book as a regular contributor to give us an update on all the exciting happenings with the store. 


Using the time-honored tradition of exaggeration to combat the notion that only quiet, studious things happen at bookstores

IMG_4485Here at Brazos, we do many quiet things. We take books off shelves, we put books on shelves, we carry books in our arms, we sit and read books old and new, we take out the trash (usually not full of books), we drink water, we whisper to well-mannered customers about Jonathan Franzen and Alice Munro…

But then, sometimes, the store literally explodes (clarification: not literally) with excitement—and by sometimes, I mean this happens always, all the damn time. Consider October, for example, when we’ll host Houston’s own neuroscience rock star David Eagleman (10/8); a poetry night with Nick Flynn, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and Gregory Pardlo (10/19); and other mind-altering literary luminaries like Sloane Crosley (10/16), Eileen Myles (10/24), and Richard Ford (10/26). Plus, we’ll have works of literary horror on display leading up to Halloween. (If you stare at the display for long enough and say “Brazos Bookstore” three times…well…look out behind you.)

But, as they say on infomercials, wait—there’s more! Here are three highlights of our October programming sure to literally blow your mind, literally (see earlier clarification re: use of the word “literally”). Continue reading