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Biographies & Memoirs - Memoirs CLMP Publishers New Titles

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Autobiography of a Book: as told by Glenn Ingersoll

ISBN: 9781939901262
Binding: Paperback
Author: Glenn Ingersoll
Pages: 220
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 04/02/2024

What do you get out of an autobiography? A look inside a person, a lesson or two you can take to heart? Maybe comparing your life to the one in the autobiography. In Autobiography of a Book you are asked inside to look around, all right, but what you come to with each turn of the page is not a lesson, but life itself. There are black blank pages with no words. There are pages filled with words. Book grows and with each word, each sentence, Book lives, and as Book does live, its pages become light filled. Let this hopeful, rueful, delirious, anxious, occasionally self-satisfied voice talk itself into your dreams, your day, your world.


Glenn Ingersoll is the author of chapbooks City Walk (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular), and the prose epic poem Thousand (MCTPub). He has hosted the Berkeley Public Library's poetry reading & interview series, Clearly Meant since 2015. He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlements and Dare I Read. Ingersoll's poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Quarterly, and Columbia Journal among other places. Ingersoll would like to the Book for allowing him to claim authorship of this life.


"Loved it. Great stuff! Weird and original. It's quite a magic trick to read something totally original that also echoes something inside. Any description pales. The only real way to describe it is to read it. Stop reading this and read the book. You'll love it." - Shannon Wheeler, New Yorker cartoonist, creator of Too Much Coffee Man

"It does no disservice to Glenn Ingersoll to call him the author of the exhilarating Autobiography of a Book, but doing so might be taken as an offense to the Book, which is, as we discover, self-authored, as is the case with so many great works of literature. 'Life begins with an utterance. A word. Another word to grow on. A third to give the first two meaning. One more and we begin to have context. We are now in the midst of it. This is living.' Thus the Book begins. Already both its charmingly quirky personality and its erudite intellectual acumen are in play. The Book does not censor its flow of anxieties nor disguise its capacity to be amused at its failings even while remaining committed to its existence; it is imaginative enough to be willing to venture into (and experience) dark and even dangerous scenarios, and (of course) to linger in and fret over its intimate relationship with words and their organization into sentences. Book, after all, has no other existence. Having an existence, meanwhile, means it has context; it inheres in a world—its world—of experiences. It is thus that it accrues personality: '[R]egardless of whatever creation, work of art, or deed has come about, someone has lived. Are we someone? Are you someone? Try to be someone!' So writes Julia Kristeva in the preface to her biographical Hannah Arendt, but it's something that the Book too might say. Listen well." - Lyn Hejinian, author of My Life and The Cold of Poetry

"At the core of its winding soliloquys, witty, surprising, in which it muses, complains, splits, burns, gods, the book asserts that you, its 'dear reader', give it life and that it in turn wants nothing more than to pulse its life back to you. Well, I second the book. Reader, go out and get it. Partake in this sly, eloquent symbiosis." - Richard Silberg, author of Nine Horses and Associate Editor of Poetry Flash

"Long a fanatic for Ingersoll's poetry so no surprise this epic is a stunner. So a book walks into a bar with an identity crisis…, and fractals through one hot, exercised imagination. It's like Gertrude Stein's hair setting itself on fire in a crowded theater. What fun! Absurdly original and far out, this baby steams along toward its very sublime amen with muscle, pathos and love." - Michael Martin, award winning poem-film writer and director of Grand Hotel and Light Throwing Light on Nothing But Itself, and author of Extended Remark: Poems from a Moravian Parking Lot

"Beware: Ingersoll's Autobiography of a Book is living, so alive, moving, from the very beginning: 'When I am read, I live. / I don't care who I have to kill.' Is Book poetry? Perhaps prose? Never sure? That's very good. According to Book. So maybe a novel? Well, everything has happened, so maybe nonfiction…Book is not even sure who the author is. As the reader is already aware, Book is quite a character and a likable one. I now even think of Book as a friend. Such wonderful traits: 'I like to imagine myself wise, a teacher. I like to imagine myself dancing, an athlete. I like to imagine myself ruthless, a killer. I like to imagine myself weeping, bleeding. I like to imagine myself dreaming, an artist.' Indeed. Book has thoughts and feelings, just like Book's readers and invites: 'I like to imagine myself a house so I can imagine you getting comfortable, making yourself at home. You could be anywhere, in any room, on any chair, under any light, even feeling about the shadowy pantry for a dropped packet of Ramen flavoring.' And Book dreams and dreams. Beautifully. Book reminds us readers 'Everybody has a book in 'em. / Everyday life. It's full of dramas.' Pay attention! Read Book. Then, sure, write one, if you wish." - Alan Bern, author of Waterwalking in Berkeley