What’s in a name?

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Poetic ramblings

I was having a conversation with a colleague the other day (I am a Further Education Lecturer in Communication and English at Stevenson College, incidentally), during which the topic of self-promotion came up. I mentioned that I had just started a blog to put out some of my poetry. At which point she got very excited and demanded to see it right away.

And was not impressed with the name ‘Concrete Void’.

Now, I am aware that it does not necessarily make a lot of sense at first reading, and when you do understand it, it is rather pretentious – I admitted as much in only my second post. But I have to admit, I actually do really like it. I think it’s cool. It comes from Howl. And it has, like, layers of meaning. My colleague pointed out that it is not very accessible, and may put off potential readers who are not already into poetry in a big way. I responded that I didn’t think any such potential readers existed.

What do you guys think? Have I picked a ridiculous, unhelpful, elitist and rather silly name? Or is it an interesting, effective and relevant title under which to post my not-necessarily-very-accessible-anyway poetry?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

  1. Claire says:

    You already know how I feel about this, but…

    Firstly, concrete + void = Allen Ginsberg reference, which = obviously cool.

    Secondly, concrete = concrete poetry, which is what you write, and ‘void’ is suggestive of the idea of blacking out passages of print. I think if you spend any time looking at your poetry, the name makes complete sense.

    Thirdly, it just sounds cool.

    Fourthly — and I consider myself an authority on this — you’re pretty much the least pretentious person alive.

    So there!

  2. I like the name. Everything is subjective though. I wouldn’t change anything that you like for the sake of anyone. If you did, you’d lose the people who get your writing, get you and love the fact you don’t sell out to how things ‘ought’ to be done.

    Besides, there are some blog writers out there with totally crazy names for their blogs.


    for example.

    Keep it up x


  3. Jim Murdoch says:

    My first thought was ‘concrete as opposed to abstract’ – concrete void = absolute emptiness or something like that. I have no problems with the name. As others have commented, it has scope and prompts thought. Well, it made me think.

  4. Beatrix Moersch says:

    I decided to start self-publishing some of my prose and mini-essays today (I’ve made the decision to go through with it before but finally went ahead to begin the process today) to discover that the very name I had chosen (several months ago, its actually my name on soundcloud) was already taken. I’m glad it was taken by you as you seem to have been inspired by it in very much the same way as I. So I, for one, think you chose very well ;).

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