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

Monday, August 15, 2011

Updateries 3: all things Marlyish and bookish

Photo:  The Throne of Psyche (my new collection of mostly formal poetry
from Mercer University Press) is making friends with the cast of a pattypan
squash that artist Nancy Dahlstrom gave me while we were wandering
in her garden last summer--one of the lesiurely Saturday afternoons I had
 while being a busy writer-in-residence for the Hollins MFA program
in children's literature.

1.  UPDATERY, NOT!

I'm terribly behind on things like friend-adds here and elsewhere, as well as on correspondence and visiting blogs and replying to requests. If I owe you something, please hang on.

2.  UPDATERY ON THE THRONE OF PSYCHE

At the moment I am far too busy. Between hitting two deadlines and picking up a child at the train station in Troy so that he can go off to the mountains to do his Order of the Arrow ordeal (that will be properly frightening, I'm sure) and much else, I have little time to post this weekend.  (More update: hurrah for husbands who go to the train station! Hurrah for sons who pass their Order of the Arrow ordeal! But I am still behind.)

However, I will share with you the seams on the under side of the garment--the business side of books, particularly poetry.  I find that people are rather helpful in getting the word out, or at least certainly more so than my cats, who tend to rub up against books and take bites out of the pages.

I am still collecting names and email addresses for newsletter mailings about this and upcoming books. If you would like to be on my newsletter list (and perhaps even help share it here and yon with people who might be interested), please let me know. If you already signed up on facebook, I've got your name.

I will be working on arranging more events as soon as I have some free time. If anybody has ideas there, feel free to throw outside-the-box advice into the pot. I am currently thinking about where to go and what to do--buy or sell enough books and I might just come and visit you, even if you're setting up residence on the moon!

Poetry is especially difficult to get out in the world, and so I am trying to stand on my head to shake down strange and possibly helpful ideas. And if anybody would like materials for blogging and sharing news about the book, let me know. I need to be doing more in the way of interviews and features as well.

3.  UPDATERY ON UPCOMING BOOKS
AND CURRENT MANUSCRIPTS

News elsewhere:  Clive Hicks-Jenkins and I are bestirring ourselves (or perhaps thinking about bestirring ourselves) to think about a cover for The Foliate Head. It will be something congenial with the three foliate head division pages.

I will soon be scouring Thaliad, once I finish burnishing A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage and also helping with marketing and promotional materials. That means the end of next week, I think.

Despite the fact that I'm horribly lazy about sending out, I've placed more than fifty poems from the new poetry manuscript, The Book of the Red King, and so I think that I will be sending it out next spring. There are 147 poems in all, so I have plenty to choose from--or else it could be a big fat book if I don't drop many.

Currently I don't have time to look at the other two forthcoming books; they will be in line after Thaliad. And I have lots of new poems, some of them forthcoming here and there. I hope to get back to writing by the end of next week, but the rest of August will be punctuated by a mother's kid-ferryings to colleges.  So if you see a woman tearing over the countryside, her hair on end and on fire, her nose inky, and her eyes wild, just give her a wave.

14 comments:

  1. Amazing as usual. Your schedule should set a fire under me, and make me do some writing and sending out, but I am not feeling like it just now. A bit depressed. I haven't bestirred myself to write anything, though I've been challenged. I'm disappointing my friend Lavina, who is looking for a writing buddy.
    I'll probably loosen up some as soon as unemployment checks come in and maybe a few people to tutor.

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  2. Perfectly understandable to end something that was a big part of your life and then feel depressed--quite human. Maybe tell Lavinia that you'd like an outing to cheer your mind (hike?) and that you'd take a notebook along. Something.

    I think this time it really is too much. But. Okay.

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  3. Maybe YOU need a vacation for a while? After this last big push, perhaps. You area always welcome out here, though truthfully, we don't have a guest room. You can roll out a sleeping bag or sleep on the couch though. Or there's a hotel a quarter mile or less from my house. In the depths of winter, wouldn't it be nice to come out here? I can't help book you, though I do suggest that you communicate with the folks at Tebot Bach. They bring people out for readings all the time. I sometimes read at their open readings too.
    Then there's the Chapman University creative writing department. You may be able to arrange something for spring. And Beyond Baroque. That's a venue for poetry readings near LA.

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  4. I'm probably not looking at west of the Mississippi any time soon... mainly because of multiple kids in private colleges plus the fact that I just had a good time in Wales. But some day, maybe. Beyond Baroque is a good.

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  6. Dude! You should totally come to Huntsville--I would personally put out a call to the glitterati. Our library always has 40 something people at our Poetry workshops and I think my friends would come out in droves to meet you. I'm sure I have at least 10 friends who would want to meet you and get a book but more probably. And you could stay in my princess bed

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  7. I looked: 267 miles from my mother's house.... Who knows!

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  8. You are doing too much, far more than preparing for an art exhibition, I'm tired just reading about it. Good luck and good sleeps and sanity to you, Marly!

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  9. marja-leena,

    Yes, it would be easier if things were as in the old days when one didn't also have to peddle the wares and bang on a pot to let people know that such odd things as stories and poems still exist in a world of big-screen t.v. and iPod and iPad and all the other things that suck our attention.

    As they say, one thing at a time.

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  10. It is rather unreasonable, isn't it?

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  11. Or perhaps it is a highly "reasonable" outcome that when we inculcate ideas of universal self-esteem and entitlement and fail to teach taste and truth and beauty and goodness... many human beings should end up with things that are meretricious toys as their idol and their joy. And have no wish that it should be otherwise.

    We have too many systems and niggling rules and far too many administrators, everywhere we look. How shall we turn around this mighty framework? I do not know.

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  12. Go Marly go!

    I am totally charmed by a cast of a pattypan squash, as I would be of any vegetable I think. It makes it look kind of solemn and heroic...

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  13. Love that!

    I have a picture somewhere of Nancy's kitchen, which includes tiles and stones and more of these squashes. Shall have to dig it up.

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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.