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

Monday, June 13, 2011

Praise from novelist and poet Philip Lee Williams

A new edition from Philip Lee Williams.
The brand new paperback from the University of Georgia:

A Distant Flame, winner of The Michael Shaara Award.


I am back from the West Chester poetry conference and may post some pictures if  I ever find out what I did with my camera... Meanwhile, my longtime penpal Philip Lee Williams has posted the most generous and extravagant piece of praise about my work and The Throne of Psyche in particular  I could never have expected such a thing as this! Phil's lovely essay appears on his new blog, The Divine Comics. I am abashed and pleased and grateful all at once!

The Throne of Psyche
(Mercer University Press, 2011)

And you know, such marvelous praise is helpful when it comes to poetry because I have recently come to the conclusion that selling a book of poetry in the 21st century is hard.  As hard as taking a pair of pliers and yanking out a hen’s teeth.  As hard as incising a line on an Egyptian basalt scribe. As hard as stopping a tantrum with a feather and a whisper. As hard and shrapnel-like as a dried shard of political correctness. Etc.

8 comments:

  1. This is thrilling, and made all the more wonderful because of the truth behind the words, Marly.
    You are surely one of America's most profound writers of poetry.
    And literature, generally.
    It is a gift that you have developed and made part of yourself, and the sharing of yourself through it is... thrilling.

    Congratulations. The praise in this article is so well deserved.

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  2. Oh, I should say that people should feel free to leave their comments on Phil's site, as some have done, rather than here. It's his baby.

    I'm getting facebook comments, and he's not on facebook so would never see those. I'd rather him get the comments.

    Thank you, Paul: to whom I am also grateful for his grand videos!

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  3. Alas - after quite a few tries, I still could not leave a comment on Phil's site: (
    He deserves a comment there for sure, so I do feel sad.

    I really hope others do not find the same problem!

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  4. Oh, I see--he doesn't have a name/optional URL or anonymous setting. You have to have a blog account with some service. He would have to change that in his template in order for you to post.

    So posting comments at the facebook link has turned out to be easiest...

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  5. Paul--I may change that setting, but I did it in self-defense after I started getting a ton of Japanese porn by leaving the door open. But I hear you here, and I'm grateful.

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  6. Hi Phil--

    Think Blogger has updated the spam filter in the templates... but you have to accept the updated version of the filter to get it.

    And thank you again! So sweet. Such a pleasant way to begin yesterday.

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  7. What a wonderful, even touching review.

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  8. zephyr,

    I think of it less like a review (because we are penpals,after all!) and more of an appreciation from somebody who is a grand reader and writer. But I am very grateful that Phil has liked my work and that we've been good correspondents over the years.

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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.