The Studio Books

Beauty Goodness Truth

Designed for pleasure, to inform and delight. Studio Books are artistically crafted in prose and in verse, classic in style, traditional in theme.  Each Studio Book participates in the Great Conversation of Classive Civilization, that family gathering of Homer, King David, Hesiod and others whose words are put to letter, read through centuries from writer to reader: sincerely from me to you.

Browse Books

Featured Books

The Aestheticon

Libretto I, PANDORA and Libretto II, AMARON

You might recall Eve’s elder sister, Pandora, created by Zeus to punish men: Pandora (“all gifts”, first female) who captured Hope (that most deadly of spirits) in a jar then skipped along to marry Epimetheus (hindsight).  Our story concerns the creation of Pandora and her silly, ill-fated romance with the shortsighted titan, Epimetheus.

The second story of this collection (third in The Aestheticon tetralogy) imagines a new goddess, “Amaron”, named for an extinct Greek flower and a picture by the remarkable, enigmatic William Girard.  This new, irrepressible goddess manifests an innocence that challenges all the world.

The Aestheticon, Scheduled Release: 1 February 2026

The Aestheticon
Amron by the 18-year-old William Girard
$16.75
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Appleseed’s Progress

Small, lean-muscled, quick and restless.  Long of beard and hair.  The eye, black, sparkling.  Barefoot, cloaked in a burlap sack; tin pot and animal skin hatted.  In doctrine a Swedenborgian, in practice a primitive Christian, moral and blameless.  A settler of open spaces, neighbor to streams and loamy places, planter of trees, trader of seeds.  Missionary.  Johnny Appleseed prepared the spirited wilds for civilization in a wilderness voice, proclaiming, “prepare ye the way”.

Appleseed’s Progress, Scheduled Release: 15 December 2024 

$19.95
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Bee Bee Verses

1993 – 2020: IN MEMORIAM

A tribute.  A bouquet.  A poesy beautifully petal’d, sweet alike honey.  A golden home for Bee-Bee in poetry.

A book for she of the silvery wings.  A book of rose-thorns, of weeds and wildflowers from which she has flitted away to who-knows-where without-a-care in the world.  This collection is a leaving behind of lusty, loving verses, prayers, and a few delicious remembrances.

Listen.  Read.  Hear honey-sweet words of joy.  A poetry of love.

* Bee Bee Verses is a book of romance and adventure, sometimes erotic, ill-seasoned to delicate readers.

$19.75
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Bunyan’s Chores

THE LABORS OF PAUL BUNYAN

This timber-tale is composed as a movie-writer would so that you might make the picture move in your mind at wherever place you might be or might like to be, doing whatever you do or might like to do.  Myself, I like my movie with popcorn, stale popcorn, you know, when the butter soaks-in and it gets to be soft and scrumptious.  Then, in the slow, boring parts when my brain goes to sleep, me and my mouth can have a good time until the action starts-up again.  And yet, you might like your popcorn hot and fresh and greasy.  If so, enjoy it as you like it.

Bunyan’s Chores, Scheduled Release: 15 October 2024

$16.25
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Classical Architecture DC

THE CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE AND MONUMENTS OF WASHINGTON, DC: A History & Guide

Classive design formed our nation’s capital.  The soaring Washington Monument, the columns of the Lincoln Memorial and the spectacular dome of the Capitol Building speak to the founders’ comprehensive vision of our federal city.  Learn about the L’Enfant and McMillan plans for Washington, D.C., and how those designs are reflected in two hundred years of monuments, museums and representative government.  View the statues of our Founding Fathers with the eye of a sculptor and gain insight into the criticism and controversies of Progressive additions to Washington’s monumental structure.  Author Michael Curtis guides this tour of the heart of the District of Columbia.

Classical Architecture DC, The History Press

$21.99
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Commentary

Book II of “Colloquies: A Review of Civilization in Little Songs”

Stroll the streets of Rome.  See the colorful, magnificent sights.  Hear the sounds and songs of Romans.  Meet the characters, the cad, the prig, the beauty, the noble lad, the patrician and the pleb as we enjoy the holidays, the calendar of ancient Latin festival.  Listen-in to the chatter, the talk, the secrets, the opinions, the chit-chat of Romans in war, in orgy, in the Senate House and at home in prayer, in familial affection.  Be Roman, rediscover your civil and cultural heritage long hidden in shadows.  Read Rome to see Romans garrulous in grandeur, friendly to visitors alike you and me.

Commentary, Scheduled Release, 1 April 2025

$15.95
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Confession

Book III of “Colloquies: A Review of Civilization in Little Songs”

Lives of the Saints, the Sacraments, the Way of Christ; God the Father, His Creation, the Universe, Man, that Creature part Beast, part Angel, in Soul, Divine, in Action, a Sinner, Redeemed by Love.  Here, for your consideration, our Confession: 73 sonnets, hagiography, biography, commentary, and lovely illustrations within 106 pages.

Confession, Scheduled Release, 1 June 2025

$15.95
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Dispute

Book IV of “Colloquies: A Review of Civilization in Little Songs

The events and persons of Europe from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment; kings and commons, sinners and saints, sacred and secular, the Arts, the Sciences; the events of plan, the events of accident are spoken of and spoken by notables and by persons of no account in virtue or in vice.

Dispute, Scheduled Release, 1 August 2025

 

$15.95
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Galatea

In ancient Cyprus, home of the beautiful, terrible Aphrodite, the sculptor Pygmalion creates an ivory statue of the perfect woman, Galatea, whom he desperately, ardently, impossibly loves.  The rest is history, a history that you might read in Ovid’s Latin telling, or here in spirited, skilled, subtle, erotic English verse, Galatea: The Statue Comes to Life, a libretto.

Galatea, Scheduled Release, 15 April 2024

* This book concerns aesthetics, the sensual propagation of art, it is erotic, unsuitable to delicate readers.

$11.95
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Modern Art: An Exhibition in Criticism

No one familiar with Michael Curtis would call him unexacting. His work displays a keen, critical mind, bringing beauty to the senses and banishing ugliness where he finds it. Modern Art is a playful exercise in the latter. It is a no-holds-barred declaration of war on the makers of Modern Art, using the sharpest weapon for the job: satire.

Modern Art: An Exhibition in Criticism

$10.99
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Occasional Poetry

Occasional Poetry: How to Write Poems for Any Occasion.  A Guide to Versification, with Helpful Tips, Advice, Examples.

Poetry lives in we who inherit the gift of language, of knowledge, of understanding in words.  This course of twenty-two neat lectures introduces you to the poet in yourself, and to other poets who can lend examples, precedents of verse for the occasions of birth, romance, and wedding, of achievement, anniversary, and founding, of dedication, memorial, and eulogy, to all events worthy of remembrance, to each and all the occasions which create meaning in your life and the lives of those you love.

Occasional Poetry, Scheduled Release, 15 June 2024

$20.75
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Paideia

Book I of “Colloquies: A Review of Civilization in Little Songs”

The ancient Axis, Sages, Prophets, Seers, Poets.  The Gods and Heroes.  The Festivals of Athens.  Greece and famous Greeks, life in the cloud-touched temples, the Aegean, the Hellenes, Athenian Paideia and other considerations in Socratic dialogue, monologue, and observation.

Paideia, Scheduled Release, 1 February 2025

$15.95
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Pinhead

Volume I of Broken Rhyme

A book of fable, myth and history lyrically spoken by a pinheaded spirit, a she, a sister sphinx and her miscellany of Hellenes.

118 pages; 81 verses; 4 illustrations

While sitting on a pinhead
Stuck in an angel’s wing
Pulling through a silver thread
I tapped my head to think,

I tapped again, to no avail,
It seems I have forgot
The answer to the riddle,
If not, then what?

$16.75
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The Priapeia

Argument of the Book:

Some have guessed that I was gathered from around Priapos’ feet, of verses scrawled, of lines graffitied, and from inscriptions neat;

others suppose I was composed by Maeceans’ clever fellows when toasting P. in meter’d verse for bookish wit to show;

many perceive the evidence of a fancy pedigree from Martial, Ovid, Juv, Catullus, and Virgil in composing me.

Most recently my pages swell, tailing on Sir Richard Burton, as here by Curtis I’m augmented, and shortened, I’m certain.

Yet, to the point, it matters not what ere the learned source is, so long as you do practice well the lesson of my courses.

* The Priapeia is an English translation of ancient Latin verses, it is erotic, unsuitable to delicate readers.

$11.95
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Sama the Prince

Sama, “Samalon”, son of Apollon, son of Atalon for whom Atlantis is named.  Seven hundred years after the volcano that destroyed the kingdom of Atalon (Atlantis) the island was refounded by Theras, son of Austesion, descendant of the hero Cadmus; it is from Theras that the island receives its name, “Thera”.  Our story occurs before the age of heroes during the age of demigods, Apollon being the human manifestation of the divine Apollo.  Archeological evidence suggests trade between the Aegean Sea’s Doric-Ionian cultures and the North Americas.  D.N.A. gives evidence that several American Indian nations have a Mediterranean ancestry.  It is likely that the towns of Akrotiri and Knossos share a common culture.  The jealous eruption of Kaptara scatters the Atlanteans and civilizes the Classive world.   Our story tells the history of Prince Samalon and the remarkable Aiyana, daughter of Kubaba.

Sama the Prince, Scheduled Release, 15 August 2024

$17.25
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To Learn and to Know
In Pleasure and Delight
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Book of the Season

Modern Art Men, William Girard

Few things are more snoozy than birds by Brancusi except for his other whatsies and whosies, the mish-mash of this and that stone and bright bronze and other rough stuff that he would pile upon the plates of the critics and the connoisseurs who ate with delight this stuff from the sewers and fed us the masses his smelly caprices then bid we enjoy the great …

The verses of Modern Art: An Exhibition in Criticism are intended to be employed like a rusty-nailed-fencepost by which you may beat pretentious Modernists about the head, repeatedly. The author leaves out no cheap trick of meter or of rhyme to achieve his ends. He employs adolescent singsong, doggerel, slanting rhyme—in short, every—mischiefmaking device he can borrow or invent is used in a manner that would shame lesser poets. Yes, he stoops to conquer. Indeed, conquest is his aim; his tactic, wit; his weapons, mudslinging, ridicule, name-calling, and other dirty tricks of antique pedigree

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Michael Curtis

Classical sculptor, architect, poet, and author

Michael Curtis has taught and lectured at universities, colleges, and museums including The Institute of Classical Architecture, The Center for Creative Studies, and The National Gallery of Art;

his pictures and statues are housed in over 300 private and public collections including The Library of Congress, The National Portrait Gallery, and The Supreme Court;

he has made statues of presidents, generals, Supreme Court Justices, captains of industry and national heroes, including General Eisenhower and Justice Thurgood Marshall;

his relief and medals are especially fine, they include, among others, presidents Truman and Reagan, Justice John Marshall, George Washington, and, his History of Texas, containing over one-hundred figures, is the largest, American relief sculpture of the Twentieth Century;

his buildings, houses, monuments and memorials are found coast-to-coast;

and then, his plays, essays, verse and translations have been published in over 30 journals (Trinacria, Society of Classical Poets, Expansive Poetry, et cetera), and his most recent book, Occasional Poetry: How to Write Poems for Any Occasion is  available through The Studio Books.

Galatea cover

Galatea: The Statue Comes to Life

The Aestheticon, Book II

In ancient Cyprus, home of the beautiful, terrible Aphrodite, the sculptor Pygmalion creates an ivory statue of the perfect woman, Galatea, whom he desperately, ardently, impossibly loves.  The rest is history, a history that you might read in Ovid’s Latin telling, or here in spirited, skilled, subtle, erotic English verse, Galatea: The Statue Comes to Life, a libretto.

Whiter Galatea than are the snow-white petals,
slimmer than the adder, more flowery than are meadows,
fresher than the tender kid, more splendid than is crystal,
smoother than are shells polished in the tides.

Truer Galatea than maidens of the moon,
finer than are peacocks, more delicious than perfumes,
softer than are butterflies, more peaceful than are hens,
finer than are women who breathe and age and die.