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The Reverse Blurb Chapter
An invitation from Gary Mex Glazner
 Related Articles
• Poets Work, How do we make a living?

First let me say:


I want to extend to you an opportunity to take part in a unique experiment in poetic creativity: “The Reverse Blurb Chapter.”

You may or may not be aware that I am writing a book entitled How To Make Your Living as a Poet. The book is chock-full of tips on creative poetry programming, interviews with leading poets, and nuts and bolts manifestos like “How to Wear a Beret.” The whole thing comes with a warning and disclaimer. (The last thing I want is a bunch of disgruntled poets suing me or shooting up my mail box with their real or metaphorical Tommy guns.)

This is where you come in. The premise of the book is that poets should bring the same type of creativity to their lives and to the ways they bring their poetry to the marketplace that they bring to the writing of their poetry. (Call it “No more cliché grant begging.”) I am asking, no pleading: won’t you send me ten bucks to have a blurb written about you and your sacred work? (This offer is limited to the first 100 poets to respond.)

For ten bucks I will write a glowing blurb about you and your amazing poetry: the fantastic way you have with words, your ability to connect to the reader, in fact, the way you elevate the casual or serious poetry fan to GOD/GODDESS status. How your poetry changes the world, how your poetry makes me/everyone wet/hard and more than happy. Really friend, we’re talking word/gasm. Yes, your poetry makes everyone drop what they’re doing (pants) and climax/come/bongo/shinny-hair/satisfied. For ten bucks you will be featured in The Reverse Blurb Chapter of my book.

(If you are ready to write the check, skip to the bottom.)
How To Make Your Living as a Poet will be published by Soft Skull Press in the fall of 2004. Here is just a taste from the disclaimer:

Good writing is the secret.
There are no short cuts.
There is no other path.
This book will bring you no closer to the muse.

Even the poets themselves don’t believe
you can make a living from poetry.
Robert Haas says, “Who would want to?”
Sherman Alexie says, “Write fiction.”
Mary Karr says, “Be a hooker.”
Coleman Barks writes, “The way to make a living
writing poetry is to give it away.”

(Then he gave me some books, but declined
to be interviewed because he knows
the real secret to Rumi and damned if he won’t
just write about it himself.)
On the other hand poets are flying in private jets....
(OK... I don’t want to give away the cow.)

Sample chapters from the book:

  • Redefining Poet-in-Residencies
  • A Poetry Festival’s Economic Impact
  • Steero-types and The Cow’vant Garde
  • Benefactors and Poetry Saints
  • Sherman Alexie: “The Easiest Way To Make a Living as a Poet Is To Write Fiction”
  • Attila the Stockbroker: “Yo! I’m the MC of Ranting Rebel Poetry”
  • Eleni Sikelianos: “There Better Be Sex in Heaven”
  • The Barbaric Yawp: Giving a Good Reading
  • Publishing: Dear Poet, Don’t Forget to Cash Your “Reality Check”
  • Chapbooks: A Crazy Look at the World of Staples and Folding

Let me stress: this is a real offer. Send ten bucks to the address below and I will write you one kick-ass blurb. Not only will the blurb appear in The Reverse Blurb Chapter of How To Make a Living as a Poet, but you have the right to use the blurb in any way you choose:

WHEREAS The blurber grants to the blurbee exclusive rights in any and all languages throughout the world to print, publish, distribute, and sell the REVERSE BLURB by any means of distribution or transmission, whether now or hereafter known or developed, in visual form for reading (including without limitation electronic or machine-readable media, or online electronic or satellite-based data transmission (collectively known as giving your ass away forever and ever, or “electronic books”).
Just make out your check and send it to:
Gary Mex Glazner
12 Highview Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
Sincerely yours,

P.S. Let me say one more time: I need your support and love but more, I need your ten bucks.

P.P.S. You don’t have to be a poet to have a blurb written about you and your good work.

P.P.P.S. Although it may be funny, THIS IS NOT A JOKE.

Gary Mex Glazner

Gary Mex Glazner founded Poetry Slams in San Francisco, spent most of 1998 travelling around the world both gathering & giving out poetry, settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico & writes for About Poetry as our New Mexico/Southwest Museletter correspondent for several years. Among the previous feature articles he has contributed here:

His poem “Maps and Wings” is posted at About Poetry, accompanying his Museletter account of the 2001 Texas Book Festival.

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