Independently owned and operated since 1962! 

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce that we have an agreement with our landlords, the University of Pennsylvania, that will allow us to stay open through the summer. We'll use this time to work on a business plan that, we hope, will allow the store to stay open and prosper. We’ve talked to many people who have offered fantastic ideas, and we're excited to explore them. 

We are so grateful to all of you for the amazing support you have shown our store, with special thanks to Prof. Chi-ming Yang and all our well-wishers at Penn and beyond.

And you’ve done more than sign a petition. Our sales for the last two months have been phenomenal. So thank you. You guys are the best!

Many of you have asked if there’s any way that you can help the store. Now we have an answer.

We are asking you to complete a short SURVEY that will help us to chart our new direction. We’d be so grateful to you if you could take the time to fill it out.

But there is also some less great news.  In order to stabilize our finances while we search for a new path, we find it necessary to cancel our Frequent Buyer Program.  We know that many of you have rewards credits saved up and these will be honored through August. After August, rewards credits will no longer be usable.  Effective immediately, no new rewards credits will be earned.

Thank you all again for your support.  We hope to see you in the store soon!

Ashley Montague and Michael Row


Upcoming Events

Poetry Reading w/ Linda Elkin, Kasey Jueds, & J. C. Todd

Please join us for a POETRY READING
feat. Linda Elkin, Kasey Jueds, & J. C. Todd!

"The resonant poems of [Linda Elkin's] Navigation have their compass set on the heart’s true north and, as they move through even the darkest times, appear lit from within, “like the body interrupted/ by love becomes bright.” With a sensuous imagination (“my body voiced into life”), a stalwart spirit, a consent to life’s clamor, a fine ear--these poems make emotion intelligible; they distill and illuminate experience--its splendor, suffering, “sudden grace.” An eloquent collection, a lasting pleasure to read."
—Eleanor Wilner

“[Kasey Jueds'] debut collection [Keeper] is nearly perfect—measured, never pretending to ask more than it can deliver, and yet producing poem after proportional poem with a satisfying precision… Jueds tackles everything with a strong, sure intelligence, unravelling the ‘reverse sides’ in order to see how the world works… This outstanding collection is the result of… careful, microscopic looking, and from the attention this poet has paid to her sinuous craft. Kasey Jueds is a keeper.”
—Judith Kitchen, The Georgia Review

"The compelling poems in J. C. Todd’s The Damages of Morning emerge from the “dark matter / of earth, terrestrial and sensate.” Set mostly in Eastern Europe and told largely from the perspective of women whom the World Wars trapped in history’s cul-de-sac, they drill down into the indelible details that bear witness to the struggle to survive—"crop-cabbage stumps,” a bullet’s “powder-burnt dimple / in a rammed-earth wall”—and hold both writer and reader accountable for damages that cannot/cannot not be undone."
—Lee Sharkey, author of Walking Backwards

LINDA ELKIN’s first book of poems, Navigation, was recently published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been published in numerous publications including The Bloomsbury Review, Green Mountains Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River, Antiphon, and in the anthology Kindled Terraces: American Writers in Greece (Truman State University Press). Linda grew up in NYC and now lives in Oakland, California.

KASEY JUEDS' first book of poems, Keeper, won the 2012 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Recent poems have been published or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Narrative, Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Provincetown Arts, Colorado Review, Pleiades, and Crazyhorse, and her reviews appear in Salamander, The Rumpus, Tar River Poetry, EcoTheo, and Jacket2. She lives in Philadelphia.

J. C. TODD is author of The Damages of Morning (Moonstone Press, 2018), a 2019 Eric Hoffer Award finalist, and What Space This Body (Wind, 2008), as well as chapbooks and collaborative artist books. Her poem “Frida!” is currently on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and others have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere. Awards include the 2016 Rita Dove Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Leeway Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Residency fellowships include Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Ragdale, Ucross, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has taught at Bryn Mawr College and in the Rosemont MFA Program.


Keeper (Pitt Poetry Series) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822962564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Pittsburgh Press - October 29th, 2013

Navigation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635348347
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Finishing Line Press - February 15th, 2019

What Space This Body Cover Image
ISBN: 9781893239739
Availability: Special Order
Published: Wind Publications - January 15th, 2008

Event date: 
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Amos Mac & Rocco Kayiatos present ORIGINAL PLUMBING

Please join us for a presentation of
with editors
as well as special guest SCOUT ROSE!


NEW YORK, NY—When Amos Mac and Rocco Kayiatos first launched Original Plumbing in 2009, they created a magazine the world desperately needed: a creative and celebratory biannual publication about trans men, by trans men. For ten years, OP was an inspired response to the lack of meaningful representation of trans lives and culture. Each issue was filled with gorgeous, moving, hilarious, and sexy narratives that pushed back against marginalizing stereotypes. Taken together, these stories met mainstream media’s violence with self-love, dismissal with determination, and repression with resistance.

Collecting the best of the magazine’s entire twenty-issue run, Original Plumbing: The Best of Ten Years of Trans Male Culture is a remarkable full-color archive that includes interviews with trailblazers like Janet Mock and Silas Howard; cutting-edge artwork and photography; meditations on love, relationships, and family; political essays and personal reflections; and much, much more.

“Over the course of its ten-year run, Original Plumbing made thousands of us queer and trans people laugh, cry, and gasp out loud. This is how we talked with each other, inspired each other, and gave each other the strength to keep on living outside the box. This collection is an invaluable, unapologetic archive of a multiplicity of queer and trans experiences.”
—KATE BORNSTEIN, author of Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us

Original Plumbing did the Lord’s work of documenting and proliferating the stories of trans men and transmasculine folks. This book is so much more than a retrospective; it is a testament. Rocco and Amos have preserved a brilliant, precious slice of trans history that will be revered and cherished for generations to come.”
—JACOB TOBIA, author of Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story

AMOS MAC is a writer, artist and producer based in Los Angeles. His photography has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Interview, Vogue Italia and OUT. A love of storytelling influenced his leap into television where he works across scripted and documentary series.

ROCCO KAYIATOS is a writer, organizer, educator, and former hip hop artist (stage name Katastrophe) based in Los Angeles. He was the head of the video education department at BuzzFeed and continues to produce content in the new media space.

SCOUT ROSE is the founder of Transguy Supply, an online store for trans masculine folks. He also helped organized NYC's first Original Plumbing Release party in March of 2010.
Original Plumbing: The Best of Ten Years of Trans Male Culture Cover Image
By Amos Mac (Editor), Rocco Kayiatos (Editor), Tiq Milan (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781936932597
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amethyst Editions - June 11th, 2019

Event date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Hidden Indie Bookstore Walking Tour

Welcome visitors and residents.  We love this beautiful map designed by JS Wu, a graduate student in Penn's English Depatment, highlighting great indie bookstores and magazine shops in University City. We hope you'll take the tour and drop in to PBC to say hi!