smALL Press Library

Small presses publish some of the most vibrant literature in America, but their titles aren’t widely available in the public libraries or in local bookstores. These are also the presses most likely to invest in publishing new, unknown, or experimental writers. Reading these books is important but buying them can be costly.

Arts + Literature Laboratory is home to Madison’s only small press lending library. We currently offer a wide range of poetry collections and will be adding more fiction, nonfiction, and current literary magazines in the very near future. The library already includes nearly one thousand titles, such as Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay, The Spectral Wilderness by Oliver Bendorf, and a translation of poetry by Nobel Laureate Tomas Transnomer, as well as books by local writers including Sarah Busse, Wendy Vardaman, Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Jesse Lee Kercheval, and Dale Kushner. Presses represented in the collection so far include Sarabande Books, Cowfeather Press, Persea Press, Graywolf, Milkweed, Coffee House Press, Copper Canyon Books, several university presses, and many more. We also have dozens of issues of Tin House magazine and recent issues of several other literary journals.

Stop by the gallery or browse our selection online through Library Cat. Borrowing privileges are only one of the many benefits available to members of Arts + Literature Laboratory.

If you have books that you’d like to donate, please email our library director at to make arrangements. We are looking for quality books in good condition published in the past 10 years. If you have a title or titles that you’d like to donate but you’re not sure they’re a fit for the Library, just email us. Titles that are of particular interest to our members but don’t fit the above guidelines will also be considered.

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


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