Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

My ship comes in--"Argosy Quarterly"

Today my copies of Argosy Quarterly arrived, and they really are as beautiful--a pleasing size and illustrated on good paper, with two volumes in a slipcase--as had been promised. I have the first three issues, and they are marvelous to behold...

It's also wonderful to be in an issue with the Mad Hatter on the cover. Maybe we can't all be Mad Hatters, as Howl told Sophie Hatter, but it's very pleasant to be linked with one. Alice in Wonderland was my favorite book for years and years. When I was five, friends of my mother gave me Alice and Through the Looking Glass with Tenniel illustrations, two volumes in a slipcase. It seems faintly linked to being in this slipcase of two volumes, Mad Hatter on case and cover.

My novella in this issue is "An Incident at Agate Beach," inspired by long-ago wanderings on the coast of Oregon: lots of agates and stones with water trapped inside, sea and sea things, passion and loss and urchins of all kinds. James A. Owen, the fecund maker of Argosy and International Studio and Starchild and Mythworld and who knows what else, writes this about the story: Marly Youmans is the best response to the question as to whether it's worth our while to remain open to submissions. Finding one Youmans story in the mail is worth wading through any number of unsuitable submissions. A literary writer with fantastic inclinations, Marly is why there IS an ARGOSY.

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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.