Here are new poetry publications and one interesting book publication. And something or other that I'm forgetting but too lazy to root around and find, just now. Just got in from the airport...
P. S. Publishing (U. K.) requested a novella for a hardcover/softcover limited edition, and so Val/Orson will be coming out in 2008.
Notes on the Bird: The Phoenix is my on-going record of this year's acceptances. At various points, I have teetered along the boundary between so-called realism and so-called irrealism. And sometimes I have danced over the invisible (non-existent?) line and frolicked with abandon.
But I'm somebody who started out as a poet and has never really grasped why the world would bother being so obsessed with categories, once past the basic division between literature and the other stuff. Yet eventually it did occur to me--poor market-ignorant fish--that I might increase my readership by publishing some of my stranger stories outside the refined literary pond where I have floated for many years, having published four times with FSG and once each with Godine and LSU's poetry series.
This publication list is a record of my response to that idea. I knew almost zero about genre publications when I started sending out. Close to zero is probably still my stance, compared to a writer who was a tadpole, lost tail, and grew up in the genre pool. But I've very much enjoyed paddling about in alien waters and meeting new editors, writers, and readers. It's a big expanse, where you can stumble on the uncorrupted floating bodies of Calvino and Borges and meet an astonishing range of living writers.
I don't think I'll bother keeping a record (I hate keeping records) next year, but this year it has been interesting to see whether I could swim elsewhere--even if I looked strange there at times.
Monthly news, mid-November:
I'm not keeping up with reviews for the great reason that genre publications review stories incessantly. I didn't know this, and I like it. There are, though, new Locus reviews of "Concealment Shoes."
"Drunk Bay" forthcoming in Postscripts (U.K.).
"Rain Flower Pebbles" forthcoming in Postscripts (U.K.).
"The Four Directions," requested for an anthology TBA.
Poems - "The Sea of Traherne" forthcoming in Books & Culture.
3 new poems at The Hypertexts.
If I want to have another book of poems, I need to send out some of those dreadful little white envelopes, I suppose. I've relied almost entirely on requests but need to publish five or six more poems before I send in the next manuscript. Fooh!
2006 publications / acceptances
FICTION IN ANTHOLOGIES
"Power & Magic," set in the north Georgia mountains, is forthcoming in the 3rd Firebirds anthology (Firebird/Penguin), edited by Sharyn November.
"The Four Directions" commissioned for an anthology TBA.
"The Smaragdine Knot" (story) will be coming out in John Klima's anthology of stories based on the winning words from spelling bees. The book has now been titled: Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories (Bantam Books, date tba.) Once more the weird Puritan minister and poet, Edward Taylor, has crept into my writings, along with a fair-faced demonic visitor.
A story called "Concealment Shoes" has been chosen by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling for Salon Fantastique (an anthology from Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006.) It's unusual for me--I made use of a real cat and three real children and a real house, all in the service of some rather strange and otherworldly happenings. Yet somehow I end up feeling that it's quite 'realistic,' simply because I used real-life models. But nobody else will think so, I suppose. Though not quite out yet, it has a review from Rich Horton in Locus though I can't seem to find it again. He noted that several of the stories could be classified as "young adult" (mine was headed for Sharyn November's fantasy series, but Ellen Datlow nabbed it first--and that was good, because it made me write another for Sharyn), but said that the telling of "Concealment Shoes" was "very engaging." From another Locus review: "The newest original anthology from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Salon Fantastique, could well be their best so far. This may in part emanate from the absence of a central theme: the book is intended simply as a gathering of fine fantasists, a meeting of the minds like the literary salons of 17th and 18th century France, where intellectuals of all classes could confer freely, exchanging ideas and establishing standards. Liberated from any imposed agenda, the contributors have excelled themselves; but given the huge innate strength of the line-up, they might well have done so in any case.
"Three stories stand out especially. Marly Youmans’s “Concealment Shoes” is a beautifully written evocation of adventurous childhood, in which a small boy and his elder sister find moving into a big new house a marvelous experience, tempered by the discovery that hostile spirits are trying to infiltrate the abode. The parents carelessly remove the mansion’s wards; nasty apparitions issue from the chimneys; the battle against them is startlingly vivid."
And there's a second reprint for "An Incident at Agate Beach" (a novella originally published in Argosy 3.) It has been picked up by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant for the fantasy half of The Year's Best in Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin's, 2006). The first reprint was in Northwest Passages (Windstorm Creative, 2005); here's a clip from Tangent Online: "My favorite story in this collection is 'An Incident at Agate Beach' by Marly Youmans. Marsha and her husband, Jim, are spending their honeymoon on Agate Beach. While Jim is off searching for agates, Marsha meets a young boy who calls himself Bramble at first—and gives himself a new name each time they meet—who tells her that his brother is in love with her. . . " From a review by Aimee Poynter. Rich Horton's Market Summaries at Speculative Literature Foundation reviewed Argosy, 2005: "The best novelette was perhaps "An Incident at Agate Beach", by Marly Youmans, in which a honeymooning bride meets an odd child on the beach." Here's a clip from a review of Year's Best at The Little Professor: "Among the other strong entries, both Marly Youmans' 'An Incident at Agate Beach' and Elizabeth Bear's 'Follow Me Light' imagine the encounter between earthly and aquatic love. Youmans' tale is the more unsettling."
FICTION IN MAGAZINES
"Rain Flower Pebbles" is forthcoming in Postscripts (U.K.).
"Drunk Bay" is forthcoming in Postscripts (U. K.) in fall/winter 2007.
"Seven Crooked Tinies" (seven rather weird little stories) is forthcoming in Fantasy Magazine in Spring, 2007. That's a just-revised collection consisting of "The Dew Sweeper" (an artist of dew), "The First Death" (autobiographical, about moving from my magic Louisiana to the golden, hellish plains), "A Box of Time" (homage to my father and read at his funeral), "The Mummy's Eyes" (reading and metamorphosis), "The Seagrove Pot" (autobiography of a vessel), "The Wise Tooth" (death, loss, and renewal under the shadow of a wayward tooth), and "The Moss Herders" (the truth about moss).
"Matreshka" (short story) is forthcoming in Fantasy Magazine, probably in Winter 2006. Form and content depend on the idea of "nesting dolls." (Does that sound like fun? I also have a poem called "The Nesting Doll" at McSweeney’s.) The reviewers at Tangent seem to have been a little bemused about what I was doing in this one, though they said the ending was "completely satisfying." Well, it is a bit wacky, and there are many links to the idea of matreshkas and breakage mid-way and so on.
"The Comb" (short story) is forthcoming in Fantasy Magazine, Winter 2006 (or thereabouts). ". . .Whoever wanted a mystery to be unknotted and fully known was mad, and I am sane. Facing it is like stumbling on a grimy, tallow-flecked masterpiece, still alive with the spirit of the dead--the brushstrokes of a moving hand, the captured forms of mortals--evidence and riddle. Or perhaps it is like a story that will not give up its last secret but insists on strangeness."
"The Geode" (short story) is forthcoming in Electric Velocipede 11 (2006.) In which some grow up and others old, and a Monopoly token has a curious part to play.
"The Dawn Walker" (story) is forthcoming in Fantasy Magazine (Summer, issue 3.) That story's dedicated to Melanie Hook Rice, a friend of mine who died entirely too young--it's about her death, though the girl is not the same girl, and everything about it is different. But it feels right and about her all the same. "Marly Youmans has a knack for writing the sea so vividly that the reader can almost taste the salt air. In 'The Dawn Walker' this is certainly the case. . . . Youmans' gorgeous imagery is a nice counterpoint to the simplicity of the underlying message." From a Tangent short fiction review by Aimee Poynter.
"The Gate House" (novella) is forthcoming in the irregular but lovely slipcased volumes of Argosy Quarterly, issue 4, one of the three magazines from the creative hand of James A. Owen, illustrator-writer-bold projector. Currently he's posting lots of illustrations at Apocatastasis. With luck, 4 will be out in 2006. Cross your toes and fingers.
What's up in "Books" is paperback publication of two books marketed as "young adult" but often reviewed as "crossover" books that are hard to pigeonhole. They have both gotten stellar reviews--click on the titles on the "shelf" to see some.
Ingledove (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005) is forthcoming in paperback from Firebird (Penguin.) Pub date is November 6, 2006.
"In this exceptional novel Youmans skillfully mixes Celtic, Appalachian and Cherokee mythology and language to create Adantis, a fantastic world, half hidden in nature. Abandoned by their father and orphaned at their mother's death, Ingledove and her brother Lang know Adantis only as a fairy tale world from their mother's stories. Yet when Ingledove’s brother Lang is haunted by a beautiful serpent demon, the children must make the perilous journey to Adantis to free Lang from his deadly enchantment. There Ingledove discovers her mother’s legacy, the powerful beauty of Adantis, and her own inner strength. Youmans’ characters are compelling; the dialogue is unique, rich with invented vocabulary. Her prose, lush and evocative as fireflies, seems to lift from the pages. A simply beautiful novel." --novelist Midori Snyder, at The Endicott Studio
The Curse of the Raven Mocker (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003) will also appear in paperback from Firebird (Penguin) on November 6, 2006.
The Top Ten Books of 2003, John Wilson, editor, Books & Culture. Best Children's Book of 2003, Books Editor Greg Langley, The Baton Rouge Advocate. (Ingledove was the Advocate's Best Young Adult Novel for 2005.)
For more information and review clips, fly over to www.marlyyoumans.com.
I am terribly lazy about sending out poems, so all but one or two of these are requests. I am very happy to see requests, because the sending out of many little envelopes is boring and long and other miserable things.
"Childbirth or The Forest of Death," "The Kirkyard Deer," and "Hyfrydol" appeared in The Eclectic Muse (Vol. 12 2006).
The Hypertexts (see links below) picked up three more poems, two originals and one reprint (November). The editors have made me a permanently "featured" poet, as well as a November "Spotlight" poet, so this month I can be found under two kinds of features and in the anthology section as well.
"The Sea of Traherne" is forthcoming in Books & Culture.
"Dream of a Waltz with God" (poem) is forthcoming in Neovictorian / Cochlea.
Online in 2006: "In Extremis," "Southern to the Bone," "The Exile's Track," and "The Black Flower" (poems) are part of Special Feature: Six Southern Women Poets. This little anthology is selected, edited, and introduced by Tara Powell is at StorySouth.
"Prentiss Cottage" (blank verse), "Parable of Dust" (blank verse), and "A Dutch Burgher" (ballad stanza) are forthcoming in Raintown Review, 2006. Also, there's a third reprint of "Abandon," already published in: Rhino; my collection, Claire (LSU, 2003); and The Hypertexts.
Reprints of some of my current poems are at the Contemporary Poets section of The Hypertexts.
(Feb.) Makoto Fujimura asked me for an essay on the topic of 'an artist's ten commandments.' So I sat down to fool around with the idea and the thing transformed into a story called "The Pilgrim Soul" (title pilfered from a phrase of that wonderful Yeats lyric that begins, "When you are old and gray and nodding by the fire.") Now he's fantasizing about some small paintings in his Nihongan mode to accompany it, and a little hardcover book with color plates. I don't know what will become of the idea, if anything, but it's lovely for someone to imagine such a thing! If any of this happens, it will come together a year from now, in a gallery at Yale Divinity School.
Image: royalty free photograph,
"Rainbow Waters Abstract" by xymonau at www.sxc.hu