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

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Corey Mesler, Quixote in Memphis

Some years ago Corey Mesler wrote an interesting review of The Wolf Pit, and I have kept up with his pursuits since in my fitful mother-of-3 way. Corey is curious in his own right, in part because he pursues impossible windmills--that is, nigh-impossible in the current state of publishing and bookselling.

Corey's Windmills:

1. He and his wife own an independent bookstore of considerable note and history and have managed to keep the doors open despite the slings and assaults of all that is non-independent.

2. He writes poetry. (I know, I know. Yes, I write poetry--but I haven't accomplished 1, 3, or 4, although like every other innocent ninny in the world, I think it would be "fun" to have a bookshop!)

3. He has written a novel entirely in dialogue.

4. He has put the word "pandiculating" into a poem: http://www.threecandles.org/poetry/cmesler.html. (Last time I saw a picture, he had neither hat nor glasses...)

One of these would be notable; four is entirely against the grain of the American Way, circa 2005.

Here's his bio:

Corey Mesler's poetry and prose have been published in Paumanok Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Dicey Brown, Cranky, Re)verb, StorySouth, Arkansas Review, Turnrow, Rhino, and others, and in a number of anthologies. He is the author of four chapbooks, the most recent of which, The Heart is Open, is due from Mayapple Press later this year. One of his short stories was chosen for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, edited by Shannon Ravenel. His novel-in-dialogue, Talk, was published by Livingston Press in 2002, and received rave reviews from Lee Smith, Robert Olen Butler, and Frederick Barthelme. His next novel, We are Billion-Year-Old Carbon, is also from Livingston Press. He and his wife own Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores.

1 comment:

  1. Re: pandiculating

    Meaning: No, this one doesn't mean 'trapping pandas' or 'acting like a panda', except right after waking up. This good word refers to the full body stretch, stretching the entire body—including the jaws (something pandas probably do, too).

    Notes: This roundly good word is about to leave us. It has already vanished from the Merriam-Webster or American Heritage collegiate dictionaries, even though I know of no substitute that distinguishes the full body stretch from smaller ones. Let's fight to hold on to pandiculation, the lovely noun from pandiculate, an activity all we pandiculators enjoy a time or two each day.

    –Dr. Goodword, Alpha Dictionary

    http://www.alphadictionary.com/goodword/date/2004/12/30

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.