jueves, 22 de enero de 2009
Begin with the Blurb
('Nothing to do with me, Babe' (Galway, Summer 07))
Blurb is a strange word! It doesn’t conjure up to me at all what it really means – I guess, for me, it appears too near, in sound and looks, to the words 'burp' and 'absurd' – I know – this is serious, but really, the word blurb brings out a certain giddiness – not sure why, maybe it’s attached to the fact that I have to ask for some.
One definition of a blurb in the free online dictionary is: ‘a brief publicity note or a promotional description …as on the jackets of books’ Love that word ‘jacket’ for book covers – I had completely forgotten about that.
Apparently, the first literary blurb in history was when Walt Whitman extracted a sentence from a private letter of Emerson’s and emblazoned the jacket of the 2nd edition of Leaves of Grass with the line: I greet you at the beginning of a great career – Emerson hadn’t actually meant an academic career but the choice of words proved quite truthful, in hindsight.
Some questions related to blurb writing that spring to mind are:
1) Does a blurb writer need access to the whole book in order to write a blurb for that particular book? or
2) Does it suffice to have a few sample poems and blurb based on those poems, generalising, somewhat, about the author?
Possibly, there are no hard or fast rules – I imagine it is the person who is writing the blurb who decides, accordingly.
And I’m wondering also if people in general like writing blurbs or is it viewed as an inconvenience? They do get their work cited so I suppose it can be a way of promoting their name and work too…if any one who has blurbed or who is in search of blurbs has anything they’d like to add, I’d love to hear it. : )
I don’t think I’ve ever had a blurb written about my work before …well, let’s see – I remember an unofficial one from Arsenic Lobster where I have my poem 'Small Acts' published…Lissa Kiernan said in her editorial titled: One Paints What One Hears:
‘The attention to detail in Liz Gallagher's "Small Acts" brings me to my knees just like a Catholic church Sunday, when I thought ...preparing for the Holy Ghost means short / lengths of white cloth are woven into strands of hair. ‘
This leads me to think that maybe there are more unofficial blurbs out there attached to my published poems than I hadn’t given consideration to before, I mean, I had read them and appreciated them at the time but had never thought of them as blurbs as such before…I think I will go on a blurb-search and maybe I will be back with more if/when I track them down… : )
Publicado por Liz en 6:07