April 23rd ~ By Jude Genereaux

23 04 2021

As yet another black marker arrives on the calendar, the years now come to eight since losing your physical presence in our lives, Norbert.

What will make this one different is sharing with you a goal long envisioned. Your loyal friend John Nelson keeps your legacy in mind, and much as he’s always promoted your work, he’s gathered a few of us to put our heads together to bring substance to that mission.

John and I’ve long talked about getting some of Norb’s work back in print, but in this now 8th year of his absence, John has put this dream in motion. Calling upon fellow publisher, teacher, writer Al DeGenova (who carries on Norb’s teaching tradition at The Clearing each summer) and introducing a young writer, editor and entrepreneur – Norb’s grandson, Corbin Buff of Montana, the four of us have begun the rather boggling task of sorting, choosing and planning to publish “The Norbert Blei Reader.”

With the blessing of the family, the goal is to gather some of Norb’s finest selections in both fiction and notable non-fiction, articles and stories published in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Milwaukee Journal, as well as local Door County news outlets. Sixteen books of published work and his unstoppable contributions to news sources and blogs, the amount of Norb’s archived work is nearly incomprehensible to imagine; the sifting and choosing is huge!

Our aim is to celebrate the depth of your passion for the written word, Norbert, and your unending pursuit to put it out there! To commemorate and honor the legacy of beauty and art you’ve left for us, by bringing together the first “Norbert Blei Reader” … a book, a collection of your finest work.

The immersion in your words is a joy to review and re-live … though I also confess a great heartache; it’s not easy to relive the loss of your presence. It is so huge. Remind us again – we will find you in your books. Always.

“Find these people, who believe in what you believe. And if you can’t find them, then go ahead and print the work yourself. You won’t be the first. And you’ll be in good company. It’s important. You’re important. Someone out there is waiting for, may desperately need whatever it is you have to say.”

-Norbert Blei “Adventures in An American’s Literature.”

~ Jude Genereaux, April 23, 2021


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7 responses

23 04 2021
jackiella

Norb, in one way it seems impossible it has been eight years, yet my glance in the mirror tells me the eight years have made us old while you remain vital and loved as you did before April 23, of your departure. There isn’t a day that something doesn’t remind me of you–every word I put on paper is edited in my head with your voice. My monk painting that you gave me after one of my early poems, your photo in my library and my dear connection to Jude who is my constant link to you.

23 04 2021
caroldoty

Marvelous idea, Jude! The winnowing will be a tough joy!💕

On Thu, Apr 22, 2021 at 8:01 PM poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground wrote:

> corbinb96 posted: ” As yet another black marker arrives on the calendar, > the years now come to eight since losing your physical presence in our > lives, Norbert. What will make this one different is sharing with you a > goal long envisioned. Your loyal friend John Nelso” >

23 04 2021
Paula K

I am not a woman of few words, but I have only one when I hear this news: “Yay!” Let me know what I can do to support this effort.

23 04 2021
Alice D'Alessio

Thank you Jude and all who have put this together. I was so honored to be included. Tho I’m unable to put words together, it’s still a thrill to hear Norb’s voice and remember his teachings. Please keep me on the list!

23 04 2021
Paul Fericano

Thank you, Jude, for this great bit of news about the proposed publication of “The Norbert Blei Reader.” Please count me in.

23 04 2021
Tom's Jude

Jude, Corbin, John, and Al, what an amazing tribute you are planning! I cannot begin to imagine the task of “sifting and choosing” as you move forward. But oh what a joy to discover Norb anew in his words. I wish you all the best and look forward to this publication.

24 04 2021
colleen gunderson

Reblogged this on colleen gunderson and commented:

“Our aim is to celebrate the depth of your passion for the written word, Norbert, and your unending pursuit to put it out there! To commemorate and honor the legacy of beauty and art you’ve left for us, by bringing together the first “Norbert Blei Reader” … a book, a collection of your finest work.”

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