Thursday, December 04, 2008


I'm supposed to write a bio for my chapbook and it's driving me bananas. I guarantee it will be about two sentences long, with hours of suffering stuffed in. Isn't it hard to be at least slightly interesting without being "cute?" As someone who has no MFA, no big poetry awards and no idyllic resendencies on the CV, I always find it hard to fill out the form.

I did pick some cover art, a process less painful. There's a wonderful collage artist named Emmanuel Polanco, who's allowed me to use one of his Tarot Card images. His site is here. Go browse around. Under the "Tarot of marseille" link, my image is that of the faceless gentlemen with four arms.

Elsewhere, this morning I got word from Unsplendid telling me the editors have nominated my "Canaan Ghazal" for a Pushcart. I'm thrilled, and not least because the nomination is from a journal of formal poetry and that's not my usual style. The ghazal form has great charm, though. My thanks to Unsplendid.


LKD said...

Seems to me you've already written a pithier than pithy bio that is matter-of-fact, interesting, and not at all cute:

"Sarah Sloat has no MFA, no big poetry awards and no idyllic residencies on the CV."

I'm not a fan of cute. I'm not a fan of bios that list every publication credit and award under the sun.

I've never offered anymore information than the following when a bio was, on those rarer than rare occasions (since I don't actively submit my work) demanded:

Laurel lives and writes in northeast Ohio.


The rest of ain't interesting. Or is none of anyone's business.


Valerie Loveland said...

I have the same bio-writing problem. I think I need some more interesting hobbies I can use in my bio. At least once the chapbook is out, that is something you can include.

I recently bought an anthology of ghazals in Enlgish, but it didn't arrive yet. It is an intriguing form.

Tilt Press said...

Sarah - I had no idea Emmanuel's collage was a tarot card image - that is really cool. I was just thinking the other day about writing a series (since we're doing the masochistic 30:30) inspired by a tarot card deck I have here.

Tilt Press said...

^^^that was from rachel.

Charmi said...

Wow, Sarah! So much good news on your blog! I like Laurel's bio idea, but on the other hand I think even mentioning those things gives them more credence than they deserve. I think all the places you've lived and seen are bio enough. And of course, your work will speak for itself.

Charmi said...

Oh, yes, congrats!

SarahJane said...

yeah, i think it might be a bare-bones affair. i sometimes do like cute, actually. and i even sometimes like seemingly pointless details like "he loves banana smoothies." but i have trouble producing such copy myself. smile

good hobbies would help. important hobbies would be even better. "She saved 10 babies from death."

tilt (rachel),
i knew it was you. did you check out his other tarot images? i also love the burned-out face.

charmi -
thanks! yes, i think that's going to have to be enough.

Sorlil said...

I have the same problem for a magazine sub where I have to write 150 words about myself. May have to resort to listing my favorite foods, lol!

SarahJane said...

You could talk about your favorite colors, or mention a "transformational experience" that makes people stop reading.

Anonymous said...

HUGE kudos, mama--most deserving & such. swing by & i'll moderate ya now. xox
be sure to ADD THIS NOM! see, the bio grows&grows!

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