Saturday, January 21, 2012

My First Blurb Rolls In!

Oh oh oh oh oh!

I have a few things going on at the moment, but for today's post, I think I'll talk about blurbs.

Asking for blurbs is hard. I feel like such a needy pathetic turd asking for them, but it's so necessary. I want my book to be taken seriously, so I'm trying to get a good list going of poets I know and respect. But most importantly, poets who might be nice enough to say "yes" and actually come through in the end!

At my last meeting with Editor last week, he set me up to the task of blurb finding. He outlined the three main "target audiences" for my book, and said I should try to find a blurber for each area. I agree that this is, indeed, sound advice.

My three areas are:

1. Borderlands
2. Feminist
3. Sensuality

Ahhh here we go again...

Editor asks me if I know certain poets, drafting ideas who I can ask for blurbs. I nod, sure, I can ask her, yeah, she might do it... but it seemed as though finding a blurber for the "sensuality" category was going to be a challange.

How about Molly Peacock?  I ask Editor, waiting for him to squeal like an excited child at the sound of her name (like I do). Molly Peacock is my favorite contemporary poet... and if you've followed this blog, you'll know that I met her at West Chester last summer. She was so incredibly nice, and requested that I send her my thesis manuscript after I told her that she was indeed, my hero. I sent it to her, and within a week or so, she writes me back encouraging comments about how interesting and unique my writing is. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. Anyway, let's get back to blurbs!

Editor gives me a suspicious look. You know her? That'd be great...

I nod my head, vowing to try and see what I can do.

So I email Molly, and say a little prayer. All these crazy thoughts are rushing through my mind -- will this amazingly talented poet even remember me? If she does, maybe she was just saying she liked my work when indeed she hated it and thought it was nasty. Or probably most likely, she's insanely busy doing heroic Molly Peacock business and will laugh when she reads this little poeta's request for a silly little blurb for her insignificant book.

Days go by. I begin to sulk. Molly doesn't love me, I think to myself in complete emo melodrama. Nah, in reality, I just put it in the back of my mind.

But then! Molly replies! And low and behold, she agrees to write the blurb! Which results in me doing some crazy wild happy dancing in my office (you'll be relieved to know, I have gotten a curtain for my window so the happy dancing had no witnesses).

But there's always this little feeling in the back of my mind. Sure, wonderful generous poet agrees to write blurb, but will said poet pull through? Or was she just being nice... and then she'll decide not to do it, or forget... or get too busy... whatever!

Not Molly. A few hours later, another email from her, this one containing a wonderful wonderful blurb.

I squeal, I jump up and down, I show BruBru who really doesn't understand what's going on, but nods at me as if I am crazy.

So that's right -- none other than Molly Peacock wrote a blurb for my first poetry book. I'm so incredibly humbled and in awe at her generosity. MOLLY PEACOCK WROTE ME A BLURB! MOLLY PEACOCK WROTE ME A BLURB! MOLLY PEACOCK WROTE ME A BLURB!

"With her deft, sensuous, jaunty, and vital poems Katie Hoerth makes a smart debut in The Garden Uprooted..."

The blurb goes on... but but that's the best part. Sensuous! Yay! Exactly what Editor was alookin' for.

And... I have a few other "yeses" that I'm particularly proud of -- but I don't want to jinx it before the actual blurbs come in. Here's to hoping, and aiming high!

I think that's the lesson I'm taking away from this whole experience. Asking Molly to write me a blurb was an enormous long shot. After all, she's an amazingly accomplished poet, one of the most of our time. And me? I'm a little no name just starting out. We aren't that close, we've only talked a few times and exchanged a few emails. She probably has a million students, and a million young poets who love her and write her fan mail.  But you know what, oh blog readers? She's an actual person, too. I had nothing to lose by asking, and having her write about my work? Well, that totally made my day/week/year... ok lifetime. I couldn't think of anyone more appropriate :) So aim high! The worst thing someone can say is "no" and break your trembling itty bitty heart.

I'm getting so excited for this book. It's coming together. Oh my oh my oh my.

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