Friday, 27 January 2012


I don't know what you call them, but we call them 'blurbs'. You know - those little quotes on the back (or inside) cover of your book saying how great it is/ you are.

I don't have a book (yet!) but I made some pamphlets of my poetry to flog at gigs, back in the days before I had any real blurbs to put on it, so I had to make do with this one from my mum:

"I think these poems are great - but I know nothing about poetry and I am her mother."
Mrs Kirwan

Since then I have twisted a few arms, nicked the odd sound bite from publicity for things I've been at.
But I was very chuffed to be described - by a follower of this blog if I recall correctly- as "Roger McGough in bra"

Other comments from here I could use if necessary:
"I don't care how many other zombie Santa poems might be out there, this has got to be the best."

"She has better legs than John Noakes" (I have no recollection of how the comparison came about)

Which somehow sounds better than a gig organiser who said: "Clare's massive body of work is funny, profound, thought provoking and moving."   I think it's the fact that it starts with my 'massive body' that put me off that one.

Sometimes, I confess, I have touted for blurbs to help promote myself to potential gig organisers. My old mate David Bateman, who's well thought of on 'the circuit' came up with the completely unhelpful: "Strangely good." I suppose it could have been worse: "Good, strangely."

What's the best line you've had to describe YOU? Don't be shy now!


  1. While playing a game on tour, I challenged my passengers to find a celebrity match for each person on the bus ie: a celebrity who resembled each person either in looks or personality... They came up with Dawn French for me!! (assuring me that they meant in personality/comedy appeal, not looks, but i wasn't offended either way!!)

  2. Haha! - I can see that! It's the gung-ho, can-do attitude too! Dawn French meets Crocodile Dundee! 8-)

  3. Most refer to me as "fat bastard", or variations thereon. Alas, I do not move in literary circles.

  4. this is such a funny post Clare, my family asked what I was laughing at!!!

  5. A newspaper editor once described me as having "an innate, if unschooled, talent." I would definitely have settled for "strangely good," which, of course, you are.

  6. Nice post, Clare, I agree with your "follower AcquaMarina" that it's funny BUT I think your post is poignant too. As for my blurb-exprince someone once said wrote, "Your writing reminds me of joan Didion," and I was thrilled by her remarks until I read on to finish her sentence which concluded "a writer I don't like".

    BUT my real zinger "blurbs" have been comments made about my high myopia. Once upon a time, when i was pursuing a career in acting, a talent agent remarked, "Does it bother you that your eye turns in?"

    Ah, the things people say to make one feel better, perhaps it would be better if they wanted to make you feel worse?

    Thanks again for the post, and I even learned who Dawn French is! I'd never heard of her before, but your reference to Crocodile Dundee sent me clicking to Wiki. You see, one of my first feature film roles was the maid at the mansion, in the first Crocodile Dundee film, where Crocodile Dundee met Linda Kozlowski not Dawn French (-8

  7. Vicus - alas, indeed.

    AquaMarina - 8-)

    Martin - innate is pretty good, though... innit?

    LLG - Curses! Crocodile Dundee was on telly here last night but I was watching the other channel. I've seen it before but I'll look out for you next time! Why did your blurber have to add the 'writer I don't like' bit?... that's just mean!

  8. Well, if "Crocodile Dundee" comes to the telly again, don't blink when the scene comes where Crocodile Dundee goes to the mansion, to meet Linda Kozlowski's character's father (played by Michael Lombard), who says, "Patricia, please a drink for Mr. Dundee!"

    And then I have my seconds of fame on the silver screen. The director would not let me speak, claiming he did not think the film would do well, and therefore, he did not want me to receive any residuals, which you only get if you speak (unless of course the film is like "The Artist" a non-talkie predicted to receive many awards tonight at the SAG Awards ceremony). Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) worked on his suntan during all the lunch and snack breaks during filming as he lay (or is it lie?) outside on the grounds of the mansion in his leather jacket as he tried to maintain the "outdoor look" of his suntanned face!