There’s a good article about that here, which is specifically about poetry (and ‘American’ poetry at that), but it can apply to fiction too.
In my class, we recently read a poem by one of my favourites, the American poet Billy Collins, which has the great title “Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House.”
How could you not carry on reading, after a title like that?! (and incidentally, the words of the title are never referred to again in the actual poem. It’s working hard, as a title – enticing you, the reader, to read on but also giving you something extra – an ‘explanation’, if you like, for the poem).
Interestingly, the judges of the 2013 National Poetry Competition, Vicki Feaver, Nick Laird and WN Herbert said, of the poem they eventually chose as the winner, “they were first struck by the poem’s unusual title, but then drawn in by its atmosphere.”
I recently ‘rediscovered’ a poem I’d written a few years ago about the sea. And guess what I’d called it? I know (*blushes*).. you’ve got it, I’d called it ‘The Sea’. I’ve renamed it ‘The Mesmerising Med’ now. Not fantastic but a bit more interesting than ‘The Sea’!
Readers’ Day: Birmingham, 29th March 2014
On a completely different subject, if you live in and around the West Midlands, you might be interested in a Readers’ Day that West Midlands Readers’ Network are organising on 29th March, in the iconic new Birmingham library (which I STILL haven’t visited!).
The day is being hosted by Oxygen Books and features Girl With a Pearl Earring writer Tracy Chevalier, and Richard and Judy Book Club best-seller Beatrice Colin, along with “a feast of other exciting writers and reading from across the world.”
Full details including how to book here
Must admit, it’s very tempting but I’ll have to see if I can get a day pass from the ‘Middle of Nowhere’! (my current address).
Am off to Germany at the weekend, for a bit of a mini-break! Many, OK, hundreds of years ago, I did a degree in German (and English), so it will be very interesting to see if I can actually remember any of the old ‘Deutsch’, which I haven’t spoken for about five years (eeek) or whether, every time I attempt to utter a word, a well-meaning German person will speak for me, in perfect English.
I will also be researching a strange fact: why are there no German heroes, in English/American novels? Apart from Oskar Schindler, I can’t think of any – can you?