Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blog hop, bog hlop for Richelle Hawkes

Now in pre-order
Available via Mercer, online shops,
and your favorite indie bookstore
Richelle Hawks of Shipwreck Dandy asked me to participate in her blog hop, and so here goes--

What am I working on?

Right now I have finished up a week at the Antioch Writing Workshops in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where I ran a poetry workshop and also met one-on-one with various people to discuss both poetry and fiction manuscripts. It was great fun, and I met lots of wonderful people, and stayed with writers Robert Wexler and Rebecca Kuder. Now I’m staying with friends-in-the-arts Lynn and Paul Digby, and Paul is taping and filming me reading poems and some fiction. Later on he’ll make some videos (and there will be podcasts) with his own music.

When I go home, I need to finish up some manuscripts that have been lying around, waiting for attention.  I have a poetry manuscript and a novel for children that are in need of some final polish or tweaks here and there. I have a novel forthcoming next year that I mean to revise one more time—occurred to me that I really ought to change the order of a few things, long after it arrived at the publisher's office.

More here
I won’t start a large, new project until those things are done, though I’ll be writing poems and small stories. I’ll be doing some traveling on behalf of my  novel, Glimmerglass, beginning with SIBA in Norfolk in September. I really need to arrange more events at the moment. And I’m still doing some work to help out recent poetry and fiction books—The Throne of Psyche, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, Thaliad, and The Foliate Head. (See tabs above for information.)

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I write lyric poetry, long narrative poetry, short stories, novels of various sorts, and even a few Southern fantasies for young adults, so I find that one a daunting question. Think I’ll leave it for readers to answer!

Ferrol Sams Award,
Silver Award, ForeWord BOTYA
More here
Why do I create what I do?

One of the most beautiful, good, and true acts human beings can perform on planet Earth is to rejoice in the greater Creation by making things. To create art is to live a larger life, one with greater energy and joy and scope.  

I make things in order to speak to and give back to the created world—to make shapeliness and to seek power and truth in words that, once pushed into the right order, may become an experience for another human being. I love the thought that somewhere, someone may be reading one of my books and feel something of what I felt when I was making it.

How does my creative process work?


More here
I might as well say that it falls as a golden waterfall from a distant star. The more I go on, the less I know and the more I feel about the mystery of art. If my writing is moving in its most natural and most potent way (as opposed to my simply doodling with words because, say, I haven't written a poem in a while and want to do so), it simply pours through me like a wave of energy that becomes embodied in words. Words and stories and poems swoop in, and later on I polish them and play with them until they are right. 

All work falls short of the fire that burns in the mind, but approaching that original fever is a constant lure. I love that fay call from within (or perhaps from without?) and the attempt to answer back.

More here.
And who to tag for the Gob Holp, Ogh Bolp, Blog Hop?


Scott G. F. Bailey
Scott's blog hop response here

More to come...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Digby frolics

Last year with Paul and Lynn Digby
(Lynn is the photographer here)
in Cullowhee, North Carolina
Stayed up till 3:00 a.m. in Alliance, Ohio, talking to the man who made these:

In Extremis
The Birthday Roses
   from The Book of the Red King (yet to come!)
The Exile's Track
The Nesting Doll
A Fire in Ice

Most of those are from The Throne of Psyche.  Music and videography by the inimitable Paul Digby... Whee!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Word frolics / Glimmerglass

Word frolics at Yellow Springs 

Surfacing in Yellow Springs (iron, not sulphur) at week's end . . . I've had a splendid time at the Antioch Writing Workshops, where I taught the afternoon poetry workshop and also had 1-on-1 sessions with both poets and fiction writers. It was lovely to talk to other writers at all stages on the unending path. I'll go home . . . some time soon, with a brief stop to collaborate and visit with friends in the arts--Paul Digby, making of my videos, and Lynn Digby, painter. Thanks to writers Rebecca Kuder and Robert Wexler for hosting me. And thanks to director Sharon Short for making all things easy along the way. And thanks to my workshop members and 1-on-1 writers for being smart, entertaining, funny, and great lovers of words. 

More Glimmerglass confetti 

Glimmerglass is a series of mirrors and panes that splinter and soften to let you fall deeper into the heart of myth and artistic desire. A resonant, beautiful exploration of fragile hopes and the courage that comes from resisting their trampling by others.

--Margo Lanagan, author of Sea Hearts, Black Juice, and others; winner of World Fantasy and Printz awards

You might not even know what you are seeking, but once inside the pages of Glimmerglass, you’ll find exactly what you need: “a cup of music, a hill of sea.” In the Republic of Letters, Marly Youmans is our Magician in Chief.

--John Wilson, Editor, Books and Culture

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Travels + Glimmerglass

Chapter decoration for Glimmerglass.
Art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.
Posts may be a bit slim for a while, so please ramble around on the site, or click on the tabs above to go to book pages. Bookwise, next up is Glimmerglass on September 1st, now in pre-order. Click on the image below for a closer look. See prior posts for more commentary.
Glimmerglass is a series of mirrors and panes that splinter and soften to let you fall deeper into the heart of myth and artistic desire. A resonant, beautiful exploration of fragile hopes and the courage that comes from resisting their trampling by others. --Margo Lanagan, author of Sea Hearts, Black Juice, and other novels, winner of World Fantasy and Printz awards 
You might not even know what you are seeking, but once inside the pages of Glimmerglass, you'll find exactly what you need: 'a cup of music, a hill of sea.' In the Republic of Letters, Marly Youmans is our Magician in Chief. --John Wilson, editor of Books and Culture
CLICK the image for a readable version
I'm heading off to the Antioch Workshops to meet with poetry and fiction writers, and leaving family members to fend for themselves... I expect they'll do just fine, and the calico bites ankles if pet dinners are forgotten, so that's convenient. On the way I'll have the fun of seeing painter Lynn Digby and her husband, the inimitable Paul Digby, who has written music and made videos for my poems but seems quite capable of doing anything he likes in the way of the arts. I expect he'll dance next. And in Yellow Springs, I shall have the pleasure of staying with the family of writers Rebecca Kuder and Robert Wexler, so a good time should be had.

Little minotaur...

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Glimmerglass pre-orders--

Click on the image for a large, readable copy.
Art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.
Design by Mary-Frances Burt.
Author photo by Rebecca Beatrice Miller, August 2013
Blurbs by poet Jeffery Beam, novelist Margo Lanagan, and editor John Wilson.

Glimmerglass is now available for pre-orders at Mercer and Amazon and your local indie, and most everywhere!

Sample of interior art

Monday, July 07, 2014

Glimmerglass at "Publishers Weekly"

Title page with decoration
(collage of painted and cut papers)
by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
Glimmerglass
Marly Youmans. Mercer Univ., $24 (224p) 
ISBN 978-0-88n146-491-7
     This stylish contemporary variation on the Bluebeard legend from Youmans (A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage) serves up an appealing blend of myth, mystery, and magic. [SOME SPOILERS AHEAD - SKIP TO END IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPOILERS.] Cynthia Sorrel, a painter in a creative rut, visits Cooper Patent, a hamlet located on New York's Glimmerglass Lake. she rents a rustic gatehouse cottage from half-brothers Theodore and Andrew Wild, who live together in their ancestral mansion, Sea House. Hired by the siblings to paint a portrait of them, Cynthia feels newly inspired as in artist after spotting a young boy running through the woods outside. The eccentric, "shifty" Theodore unnerves her, but she is charmed by Andrew, a widower and grandfather. The two eventually marry, and Cynthis grows attached to his three young grandchildren, Lizzie, Drew, and Ned. She continues to be wary of Theodore, however, particularly after he creepily relates a story to her of how, when he was young, his cousin Moss was lost in the caved-in tunnels beneath the house. Eventually, Cynthia decides to explore Sea House's subterranean labyrinth for herself in order to put the Wild family's dark secrets to rest. [END SPOILERS.] Even readers who don't go for more traditional fantasy fare should enjoy this vividly written yarn. (Sept.)

Two thoughts, with thanks to the PW reviewer... 

One, Bluebeard never popped into my mind while writing or revising this book! Perhaps I should have thought of him...

And two, I think there could be a serious and interesting argument between people who like to categorize fiction whether this book is literary fiction without a single fantastic thing in it (though much that is very strange), or whether it is, indeed, fantastic in nature. It does contain a figure that is or is not the Muse, and it does contain a strange passage derived from the classical world, the somnium. And it feels strange. But would or should a genre-loving person call it one or the other, literary fiction or fantasy? I don't know. Maybe they would call it interstitial. As I tend not to categorize except by good vs. bad, I don't worry about it. But as other people do, particularly reviewers, I think about categories from time to time.