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

Friday, May 01, 2009

Meeting Phil at last - Philip Lee Williams


Philip Lee Williams has been a penpal of mine since 2001. We were scheduled to appear on a panel about our then-new novels at the Nashville Festival of the Book, but Phil injured his back and spent the time in a horizontal position at home, alas.

Nevertheless, we struck up a correspondence that has lasted eight years. When we finally met on Sunday, I felt that I knew him, and that he was just as generous and kind as in his letters. Here we are in front of the Madison Chophouse Grill in Georgia. I regret putting on the one jacket I had with me because there's a bit of overgreening, a kind of leprechaun effect, but perhaps there was a dusting of fairy luck--we hadn't expected to meet at all, at least not this year.

8 comments:

  1. The greening suits you. I am glad you got to meet him, even if the trip took place under difficult circumstances.
    By the way, I wrote a short (operative word) review of Val/Orson on my blog. Could you send a picture of yourself for me to put up? I could snatch one out of the ether by Googling it, but I'd rather ask you. Hope all is doing okay on the trip.

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  2. The book flap picture and some links are on the way. Thank you.

    The trip has been complicated, sad, joyful, etc. Good to see many of my deep South relatives...

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  3. he os th epoet you interviwd a while ago?

    That is awesome. I love meeting pen palls. ITs so weird to meet people that read your live jounral and know all this crap about you.

    YOu look great in your pic. Idint know you you were so petite. You are like 6 feet tall in my mind.

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  4. O Miss Susannah:

    Six feet in your mind! You have a grand imagination. I am 5'3", the same size as one of my other guy penpals--a painter. Some day we'll get a picture and look like Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

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  5. Yes, I like the greening suit too! Just realised that my Val/Orson book hasn't come yet. I wonder what's happened. I shall investigate. I know what Susangalique means - I imagine you as 6' high too - whereas in reality you are exactly the same height as me!

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  6. It must be the Welshiness in us! Because the 5'3" penpal is also from Wales... Are there a lot of people our size in Wales? Are we really part hobbit or leprechaun or what? (My parents were both tall, though, so perhaps I was a changeling.) I've been to Chester and nearby, but I don't recall everybody being the same size.

    I am glad to be a Jolly Green Giant of the imagination.

    Actually I don't know if it is officially out or not because I'm still away from home and not getting much mail. I forgot to ask whether I had a P. S. package. I'll let you know.

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  7. You make a lovely fairy-like soul in your green. I'm glad you were able to meet at last.
    The word verification (in green) is rhinesse--perhaps a princess rhino?

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  8. It would be interesting to meet all one's penpals and the frequent blog visitors, wouldn't it?

    Princess Rhinonose if it's me. All these zone changes give me sinus fits. I have seen spring so many ways this year!

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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.