A Writer's Tale
Bruce Blackburn always wanted to write a book.
A journalist by trade in the rich arts community of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Blackburn chronicled the adventures of the artists, authors,
playwrights, painters, sculptors, songwriters and cultural icons who emerged from the eclectic enclave in southern Pennsylvania. Author James
Michener called Bucks County "the Genius Belt," in honor of the remarkable phalanx of creative talent the region has housed over the decades.
But after a long battle with chronic health problems, he passed away in December of 2005 without getting the chance to write his book. Only, not
As a tribute to his life and writing, his wife, Marie Izzo, assembled some of his favorite columns about the people and art of Bucks County and
combined it with remembrances of Blackburn from dozens of the people he had interviewed over the years. The end result was A Bucks County State
of Mind â€¦in his words, from Inside Review (www.abuckscountystateofmind.com), a book that posthumously carries his byline.
"Bruce was a romantic soul who lived life on a more emotionally enriching plane and his link between the written word and love was undeniable," Izzo
said. "An interview with Bruce Blackburn was like talking to your best friend. This insightful, brilliant man got you to reveal your soul and then when you
read what he wrote, you realized he captured your essence in a comfortable way that connected you to him forever."
Blackburn's interview subjects were a collection of some of the most iconoclastic artists and creators in American culture, including Robert A. Beck,
Irving Berlin, Dick Perez, Phillip Lloyd Powell, Michael Graves, Gordon Haas, Al Hirschfeld, Lilly Salvatore, Bob Krist, Foster Winans and many others.
Nearly 40 of them contributed to the lush tome aimed at encapsulating not only Blackburn's professional life, but also his passion for this creative
cooperative and its inhabitants.
In the book, master architect and Princeton professor Michael Graves remembered Blackburn'