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

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Midnight Crier (at 2:00 a.m.): Raven Review

A welcome late review--lengthy and thoughtful--of The Curse of the Raven Mocker (2003) can be found at http://www.thealienonline.net via clicking on the jacket image on the home page, or by going directly to http://www.thealienonline.net/ao_030.asp?tid=2&scid=67&iid=2787. The reviewer's stance is clear from the subtitle, A fantasy for children that provides all the disconcerting resonances of true myth.

Here's a sample from Juliet E. McKenna: "Finally she reaches the heart of the supernatural evil she must challenge, for her sake, and for her parents. And it is an evil that will send a frisson up the most urbane of spines. Furthermore, since this is myth in the finest tradition, the resolution is something neither Adanta nor the reader is expecting. There is no cosy reset button to be pressed. No one wakes up and finds it was all a dream. Adanta's life is changed for ever."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Midnight Crier (at 2:00 a.m.): Penpal frolics

Some people I know through letters (and one I've met) have confetti-worthy news. I just received a postcard (including a Bahr headstone and truck) from Howard Bahr; Judas Road will be out in 2006. Ingrid Hill's Ursula, Under is on the list for the Orange Prize. And Philip Lee Williams has three new editions coming out: The Heart of a Distant Forest from University of Georgia; A Distant Flame from St. Martin's/Griffin; and The Silent Stars Go By from Hill Street Press in Athens.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Midnight Crier (at 2:00 a.m.): MacAdam/Cage Blue Moon Cafe

"A Map of the Forest" is forthcoming in the anthology, Blue Moon Cafe IV (MacAdam/Cage). A fun thing about this story is that it was written in response to a story by penpal Howard Bahr; I met him at the Southern Festival of the Book (Nashville) some time after he had written a blurb for The Wolf Pit, and we have been penpals since. We'll probably do another "pingpong" of stories, eventually.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Midnight Crier (at 2:00 a.m.): Marly on McSweeney's

My sestina, "The Nesting Doll," has gone up on McSweeney's Internet Tendency. I didn't know about the glorious role of Assistant Web Editor for Sestinas at McSweeney's when I wrote it, but evidently a lot of people have written sestinas particularly for McSweeney's, utilizing the editor's name as one of the repeating end words.

Here's the start of it:

Once upon a time a little doll
Encountered demons in the woods near home;
One took the guise of a well-bred traveler,
Smiling and chatting as he trailed her here
And there, at last jumping right into her mouth
By cunning sleight, so he could taste her soul.

For the rest, hop to McSweeney's.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Confetti for Ingledove

My daughter's favorite writer was very generous to somebody she had never met; she sent my editor this "blurb" for Ingledove, forthcoming May 7th:

INGLEDOVE is a marvelous book. I loved it and thought it was even better than Marly Youmans's first book about the magic land of Adantis, The Curse of the Raven Mocker, where the inhabitants and their magic are half Cherokee, half Border Celtic. I loved the way the Hidden Land materializes around you as you read as naturally as breathing. And the magic seems to arise almost as naturally--though it can be as sudden and cruel as a snakebite--and all of it is always breathtakingly wonderful. Then, instead of leaving you simply gasping at her marvels, Marly Youmans has the courage and the good sense to point out that experiences of this order cause people to change. I really admired this book.

--Diana Wynne Jones

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Midnight Crier (at 2:00 a. m.): "Nihongan" reprint

"Nihongan Altar" is now up on The Hyper Texts: http://www.thehypertexts.com/contents.htm. Poems from Claire and elsewhere also can be found by clicking on my name (under the heading, "Contemporary Poets.")

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Midnight Crier (at 2:00 a.m.): New Poems

Two new poems are in the current issue of Books & Culture and on their web site. One is a poem I wrote for my younger son. He woke up crying because of a dream about his sister's transformation: http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2005/001/19.06.html. The other is a poem about a friend, Mako Fujimura, and his art in the Japanese "Nihongan" mode of painting with crushed jewels: http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2005/001/18.06.html.

Counterbalancing the last, I have a sestina about a demon and a doll coming out in McSweeney's Internet Tendency...