Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blurb girl!

A nice surprise arrived in the mail yesterday.  In 2006, I reviewed in American Book Review a book of poems by Sandy McIntosh called The After-Death History of My Mother.  Now Marsh Hawk Press is about to publish (September 1, 2012) his Selected and New Poems, called Cemetery Chess.  An excerpt from my earlier review appears as a blurb on the back of the new book.  It reads:

"Sandy McIntosh's entertaining new volume might be mistaken, at first, for a merry romp through personal and literary history conducted by a slightly confused, well-meaning people pleaser.  His confusion begins with his bemused revelation that he has (maybe) two mothers, and continues through various other doublings (dream transformations, reincarnations, literary 'forgeries,' literary mothers both male and female, poems masquerading as prose and vice versa) to a final doubling (double-crossing) that brings with it a 'broade [sic] awaking' to reality...This is a book of elegies -- eulogies, really -- to all the literal and literary bastards who have made McIntosh an artist and (maybe) a con."

Whatever you may think of that mixed review, McIntosh seems to have liked it!

Having a review of mine excerpted for a blurb  has only happened to me once before that I know of, when I wrote an anonymous review for Publishers Weekly, back when all their reviews were anonymous, of Albert Goldbarth's Marriage and Other Science Fiction, a book I loved.  Here is the full (short) review:

Goldbarth (Original Light) has written yet another quirky, compassionate book, drawing together his many enthusiasms-for the sciences, the arts and literature-into a new and expansive universe. The writer's focus shifts constantly. His diction moves from scientific to colloquial to raunchy with the ease of time-travel. Goldbarth's subject matter, human love, also ranges in character, from sublime to ridiculous to simply ordinary: in his world, everything from cheese to causation is somehow connected. Many of the best poems in the book are sequences of 14-line stanzas. Like 17th-century meditations, they find inner life writ large in the universe, and the universe writ small in our hearts. Such poems are like Donne's, bursting at the seams with new information; but they are more than intellectual exercises meant to show off the poet's wit. Instead, Goldbarth ventures intimate, caring explorations of life at the end of the 20th century, when it is harder than ever to be sure about anything. He's like a benign big brother who believes in an underlying order and goodness-and makes us believe in it, too. (Jan.)

It's a thrill to be a blurb girl!

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