where the writers are

Barbara Alexandra Szerlip's Biography

Member Info

Dec 2007

      I've always had a voracious appetite for books, though I can't recall ever being read to by my parents when I was growing up. In the sixth grade, I wrote a science report in rhymed verse. As an undergraduate, I founded a "small press" literary magazine called Tractor (as in The People's Tractor), a name I came to regret but by then it was too late, as Tractor had managed to win a couple of national awards. I received a lot of submissions; my mailman finally asked, one day, if I was publishing a agricultural journal.

      Since then, my 'literary' projects have run the gamut from writing and editing (National Geographic Society, Viking, Knopf) and creating a line of 36 illustrated notecards based on love letters of the famous and the obscure (Written Kisses, Pomegranate Publications, distributed worldwide and now, I'm told, "collectible") to "inventing" labor-intensive sculpture that combines landfill/throwaway books (plus porcupine quills, work gloves, machine parts, vintage erasers ... the list goes on) with carpentry.

Here's something I wrote a very long time ago (please be kind):

THE RIGHT BOOK is like a bat that can swoop and cling unexpectedly, moving through our darkness like a denser dark, yet always on target, directed by echoes, swayed by resonance. And the resonances remain long after the specific words that bred them have been forgotten. We are revealed to ourselves, we believe these dark scratches were composed expressly & singularly for us, even BY us. We are astonished to find ourselves moved by the hierogylphic breath of a stranger who may not even have spoken our language, who may have died years, decades, generations before we were born and whose orphaned light had been traveling all this time in search of us.

Upcoming Works

Impossible Dreamer: The Eccentric Genius of Norman Bel Geddes (TBA)


• Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Recommended Links


National Geographic Society, Michelin Green Guides, Michelin Restaurant Guides, Pomegranate Publications, World Trade Press, SF Chronicle (This World), SF Examiner (Image Magazine), Viking (editing), Knopf (editing), Palace Press International (editing).