Friday, July 06, 2007

proofs in, title decided

I spoke to Tony this morning, and I've just sent him the last of the proofs that I'd received or been involved with, so Arc will be moving into production now.

The title was resolved as A Balkan Exchange: Eight Poets from Bulgaria and Britain. This would seem the most practical compromise, so I hope everyone's happy(ish/esque) with that.

I think it's a wonderful book, and it sounds like Rachel's done a great job getting us launch readings, so I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone (and it!) in the autumn.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

name of the book, part 3

Most recent thoughts, as they came in:


Hello everyone...we are in a pickle, aren't we?

I'm not very keen on any of the suggestions – it feels like we're going round in ever-decreasing circles.

I've just had another look at the manuscript and wondered about another of Vassil's titles, made plural, - Strange Vistas. (with whatever subheading we go for) It seems to catch some of the oddity, and bulgarity, of this project.

Anyway, just another one for the pot...

Have we got a deadline for these ruminations?



I agree about the ever-decreasing circles - we seem to have reached the point where everything has an echo and sounds odd. I won't add to that by saying what Strange Vistas first made me think, because it's not important. This would seem to work and I could go with it.

However, there is the small matter of the publisher who may already be pretty committed to A Balkan Exchange. Apparently some of the tour publicity already uses that. Personally I certainly don't think that's much worse than anything else we've suggested. It seems to be the Neareast reference which took us away from that, so why don;t we make the subtitle very plain: something like

8 poets from Bulgaria and North East England or 8 Bulgarian and British Poets.

A Balkan Exchange does sound a bit 'European Union', I'll grant you, but also has conversation in it too.

Happy to go with pretty much anything other than Bulgarity by this point!



I like the idea of 8 poets... as a subtitle. As well as "Strange Vistas" as a title. Perhaps all of us should send our last choices, and then we can count...



Yes. Counting sometimes is better than thinking. At least at the end.
No, really - is it time to make a list and vote? Do we include all suggestions up to now?


Rachel Ogdon (Arts Council)

Hello all

Sorry to barge in on the debate - I was under the impression from Arc that the title had been decided upon as A Balkan Exchange. Obviously this is not the case. A Balkan Exchange is the title of the tour and an image of the book cover (with 'A Balkan Exchange' on it) may have already been used on some of the festivals' publicity material.

This isn't the end of the world if you decide to change the title, but just wanted to make you aware. Perhaps it's just a matter of getting the sub-title right?

It's a bit like 8 people all trying to name a child!



Yes, it seems that we are discussing something which is already half-decided.
Thats why I asked "What is the idea of the title?" I will repeat my questions:

- Is it because "A Balkan Exchange" will sell better?
- Or is it because it represents the contents of the book in a better way?
- Or it sounds better?

If we cannot change it, its not a problem at all. But its clear, I think, that is sounds as a Social European Project. And I think because of that it can function as a project title or subtitle (8 poets in A Balkan Exchange). It can be much more effective if it is informative and not as is stands now (because now A Balkan Exchange is semi-informative - its not clear what is says exactly).



I hope Tony will understand our concerns about this "Balkan exchange" title. Eventually, isn't it possible "A Balkan Exchange" to be the title just of the tour, not of the book? If we need it as a title in this project...

Otherwise, I vote for "Strange Vistas: 8 Bulgarian and British Poets"



Linda and I were meeting with Claire Malcolm today and discussed this -- she has to get in touch with Tony at Arc > about other matters, so promised to ask how much flexibility we still had about the title issue.

However, I think if we aim independently for a decision by this Friday, that will deal with our impression that we're disappearing down a sink.

To recap: most of us think changing the subtitle to '8 Bulgarian and British Poets' sorts out a lot of the confusion.

Some of us are drawn to 'Strange Vistas' (aren't we just!), and 'Stamps of Bulgaria' still seems to be in the frame, but we acknowledge that 'A Balkan Exchange' may have to stay.



If things are already advanced in the publishing house with "Balkan Exchange", then o.k. Maybe they have their reasons. Let us insist on the subtitle '8 Bulgarian and British Poets'.

Briefly, I agree with Bill.


Kristin (in response to Mark's email, above)

I like that. A Balkan Exchange is good enough for me.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

more thoughts on entitlement

And the responses...


Ah, Sofia-upon-Tyne... I have forgotten it.
But is it undestandable as a book title?



Bulgarity - what a great title ! My new first choice.



I sent Andy something I can't find quoting Oscar's 'Vulgarity is simply the conduct of others' and asking what does that make Bulgarity?

I quite like GB/BG (Kristin's suggestion) because it reminds me of CBGBs, the New York punk venue. But that may not be the correct criterion in this matter.

In response to Vassil's questions: I don't know why the title was changed. Perhaps it was to expand upon and therefore clarify the original. I think we probably need an evocative main title and an explanatory subtitle. Most of the titles we have are in the evocative category, so perhaps we should imagine them with some helpful subtitle appended.

To recap, here are the ones any enthusiasm has been expressed for:

Bulgar Blues
Homespun Alchemies
Stamps of Bulgaria
Gigantic Memories

Here are the ones we feel ambiguous about

A Balkan Exchange
Neareast Northeast

Here are the ones we've suggested but no-one has commented on

Twin (OR) Exchanging Monuments
Bridges and Pages

I suggest that we all think what we'd like to see, comment/suggest one last time, then go with the majority.