Friday, October 13, 2006


I personally find the use of Author Photos in poetry collections to be a distinct failure of the imagination.

I don't like using them.

Having said that, I acknowledge some publishers' -- and authors' -- wish to use them as part of the marketing of any book project. Giraffe, one of my publishers back in the Philippines, requested back cover author photos for my books. I wanted to accommodate them (after all, I am grateful for being published). So for my first book with them, I used a photo of me in 5th grade -- thus negating some of the factors I detest about author photos (how a photogenic image helps sell; I was photogenic at the time that book came out, unlike today when I'm cheerfully dissipated by wine). Then on my second book with them, the back cover photo is an artist's Liechtenstein-type riff of me.)

Which is to say -- since my Giraffe days, I only use Author photos when there's a reason (in my view) to use them in a way that they become a legitimate part of the work. So in my upcoming DREDGING FOR ATLANTIS (see prior post), I use a baby photo as it relates to the book's underlying concept (for which you'll have to read the book to understand the correlation).

This topic of back cover Author photos came to mind today when I read Veronica's blog and saw a wedding photo celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary (Congrats Ver!!!!) That wedding photo reminded me of my back cover photo for ENGLISH because I also used a wedding photo. That photo choice correlated to ENGLISH's concept of the poet marrying "Mr/s Poetry."

This is all a long way, though, to explaining that I -- inspired by Ver's example -- now also post one of my wedding photos, which happened to be ENGLISH's author photo. Because I and the hubby also just celebrated a wedding anniversary: our 20th. So, dear Hubby -- thank you for a life that is a lovely Dance: