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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A writer and an artist respond to Seren

Seren, by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
from Seren of the Wildwood
(Wiseblood Books, 2023, hc/pb)


Marly Youmans’s verse-narrative Seren of the Wildwood is a bildungsroman or coming-of-age tale about a young girl named Seren, told in the archetypal-dream language of a fairy tale. Seren experiences the universal realities of the loss of innocence through trauma and betrayal, of the self individuating from the matrix of childhood, of sexual awakening and childbirth, and of finding a relationship to the world via a journey into the ambiguous world of nature, dreams, and encounters with various characters both benevolent and duplicitous. 

I won’t give the story away by describing the details of its plot, so let’s just say that, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Seren during her adventures is not in the Kansas of routine life anymore. The characters and the woodland creatures and plants that Seren encounters in Wildwood are either supernatural or natural or both. Fairy tales or myths are stories that take place in the imagination, a middle world between the material and the intellectual ones, where meanings become images and images meanings, and this is where Youmans sets her story. Wildwood is the world of imagination, the inner life of the outer world.       --Poet, translator, essayist Andrew Frisardi


...what’s moved me most is Marly Youmans latest “ Seren of the Wildwood “ handsomely published by Wiseblood Books. Marly’s fairytale ( beautifully illuminated by Clive Hicks-Jenkins) weaves a complexity of archetypes and sensations , one recalls the lays of Chrétien, Rossetti’s “Goblin Market," the psychoanalytic work of Melanie Klein. Youmans, in her telling this tale explained to me the ambivalence Grendel’s mother must have felt for her challenging offspring. It’s a rich story, one I recommend highly; so rich in fact that I needed to place my impressions upon paper, which follows in the second image. Marly is a gifted visionary, her many published works reflect her unique talents, in “Seren” she presents a tale of no particular time or place, magical yet not absurdist, familiar yet surprising. Wiseblood Books has a convenient site to order from, a range of many attractive offerings (which I’ve already been tempted and eagerly await arrival), to those liminally inclined, I suggest a visit, you will not be disappointed.     --Artist Leonard D. Greco of L.A. and Chicago

Response to Seren of the Wildwod
from artist Leonard D. Greco

And there are many new images on social media as well...

Friday, March 17, 2023

Seren of the Wildwood March readings--

Saturday, March 18  3:00
Reading with Sally Thomas
City Lights Bookstore 
3 East Jackson St.
Sylva, North Carolina

Thursday, March 23 7:00 p.m.
Reading with Sally Thomas
Goldberry Books
12 Union St. South
Concord, North Carolina
(980) 439-5050

Friday, March 10
Launch Party near D. C.
The Washington Review: "Charles and Tessa Carman will host novelist and poet Marly Youmans [“the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.” —John Wilson] for a house reading and signing of her new novel-in-verse Seren of the Wildwood (Wiseblood Books) on Friday, March 10, at 7 p.m. Interested folks can RSVP tlccarman[at]"

Thanks to the Carman family for a wonderful launch party!

Monday, March 06, 2023

Launch Day, March 6

Seren at the home of poet and writer
David Russell Mosley
(Wiseblood Books)

Launch Day review from poet/translator/writer Jonathan Geltner at the Slant Books blog. Wiseblood Books notes that it "situates the poem within the world of fantasy & showcases a few beautiful excerpts." To read, fly HERE.

I'm celebrating having survived Covid and reached Launch Day with some ginger tea... sitting here under the rosy shadow of a whole forest of amaryllis blooms...

Seren of the Wildwood is the weekly feature of Autumn Sky Poetry Daily. To see, go HERE. And thanks to editor Christine Klocek-Lim!

And HERE is a Launch-Day newsletter from Wiseblood Books, with a link to a hardcover Launch-Day discount in celebration...

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Seren: video, newsletter, review, more...

                                            CLICK ME, says Alice's video, though rather shyly.

on this page and the pages of Seren of the Wildwood is the splendid handiwork of Clive Hicks-Jenkins.


Eep! I've been posting away on social media and entirely forgetting the blog. But here I am, and HERE's today's newsletter from Wiseblood Books, focusing on Seren of the Wildwood and Dana Gioia's translation of Seneca’s The Madness of Hercules. Interesting letter with links for pre-orders (better hurry if you want a pre-order price--and you can get the pre-order price plus shipping if you live abroad), and even a homemade video from moi! Enjoy...


And here is the very first review of the book, a happy long double-pager. Click to enlarge. I'm grateful to Tessa Carman for spending her time on it, and to Fr. Mark Michael for assigning a review in The Living Church (ECUSA/Anglican Communion.) Don't I need business cards that read Master Enchanter now?


Here you may see three Seren of the Wildwood (Wiseblood Books) copies at the home of L.A.-and-Chicago artist Leonard D. Greco, Jr. 


I'll be doing a reading near D. C. in early March, and then at City Lights (Sylva) and Goldberry (Concord) at mid-month. After that, some in and near Cooperstown. And then we shall see. I have a house reading scheduled, and I'm also open to those if they're not too far from Cullowhee or Cooperstown, or on the road between...

The Rollipoke 23, with more Seren news, is HERE.