Friday, July 2, 2010

Re: Dedications

Writer friend Anthony Di Renzo of Ithaca, NY just published a collection of witty, zestful essays about Italians, Italian-American culture, and food, plus recipes. Four of these essays were first published in River Styx, starting in 1997; allow me to take about 5 percent of the credit for that. Tony titled the collection Bitter Greens (193 pp., Excelsior Editions: State University Press of New York) and sent me a copy. This is the first time a book has actually been dedicated to me: "To Catherine Rankovic / Always Welcome at My Table."

None of my books or individual works are dedicated. That's 'cuz I saw it as just one more thing to worry about, maybe one more thing for the dedicatee (who of course would be sufficiently intimate to complain) to complain about. You might divorce or fight with a dedicatee, or mess up their marriage, or something. Or you might offend somebody who thought he or she ought to have been the dedicatee. An artificial difficulty.

Well, this has taught me: Dedicate books and other works to other writers. Non-writers may feel happy and proud, but I think only writers can appreciate what an honor it is, and all it means.


  1. I love dedications. I love bios in the back of poetry collections. Both reveal. I read them first.

    I took great personal pleasure in deciding dedications for my two chapbooks. I made sure my family members took note--for there they were!

  2. While I see Gaye's name here--excellent cover you did for the recent Natural Bridge, Gaye!

  3. Thanks, Julia. I haven't seen the actual NB#23 yet. I guess I have to stop traveling and tend to business here at home.