Skip to main content

Some confessions of branding

In the process of writing maybe brand is in the background somewhere but after a while it seems to me the author is branded.

What are blurbs but a brand? I often glance at the blurbs for names/brands (shameful I know). Not to rule out the book completely. But if Dana Gioia blurbs a book of poetry, I am cautious.

Sidenote: I met Dana Gioia at a book fair in Seattle about five years ago. I talked to him after a panel celebrating Graywolf and small press publishing. He repeated a lot of info word for word from his Can Poetry Matter and took down my address. A few weeks later I received an invitation to a conference in PA on writing poetry in form etc. He also sent a huge blow up of an article about him with a little note saying: a small triffle. It also contained his signature in case I wanted to frame it. Don't know where it went. Somehow it got lost in the shuffle when I moved from Bellingham, WA to Greensboro, NC.

Back to main idea: I want to be open, not too narrow. But in all honesty I often look for brands/presses (Verse press, Fence books, New Directions, Coffee House Press etc. etc. etc.

Sometimes I just look for the brand via publication credits. If it's a mix of "mainstream" and "experimental" publication credits great. But if it's all Poetry, Hudson Review etc. chances are I won't like the brand.

In some ways I hate to admit all this. It appears as if I am close minded. But at some point I have to narrow the choices and why not by brand?

Which brings me to another dilemma. Billy Collins is coming to Greensboro to read at the Carolina Theater as part of the Randall Jarrell conference at UNC Greensboro. Fred Chappell loves Randall Jarrell. He's the hero of the MFA program. A lot of poets are attending but I really don't enjoy Billy Collin's poetry/politics.

Am I snooty? Too stuck on brands?

Should I attend the Billy Collins reading in the name of non-elitism and open mindedness?

Click Here Please


Popular posts from this blog

poets reading poets

There are on A now: Andrews, Antin, Apollinaire, Ashbery

A project from the Atlanta Poetry Group. Check it:

The Poetry of Tao Lin

Another Ireland by Robert Archambeau

This review really hit it for me. I recently read Maurice Scully's _Livelihood_ and Geofrey Squires _Untitled and Other Poems_ is on deck (I love that baseball term. It is baseball, right?)

I think this is from The Nortre Dame review, but I found it via goofle (I mean google).

Another Ireland: Part Two
Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
Geoffrey Squires, Landscapes and Silences. Dublin: New Writers' Press, 1996.
Catherine Walsh, Idir Eatortha and Making Tents. London: Invisible Books, 1996.

By Robert Archambeau

I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…