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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vampire-drudges & The Throne of Psyche, etc.


I shall have to start the I Interview My Visitors series and the one about publishing and luck and so on in a day or two. I still need to ferment and write some more, and I also need to format the I Interview piece, as it is long (poet and professor Robbi ought to be called Gabby!) and still higgledy-piggledy.

Unfortunately I also need to dive into the wreck and scour it because my daughter wants to bring friends home from college... And I want to work on The Book of the Red King! Sad, isn't it? Elsewhere in the family, the youngest son is reading a rather dreckish trilogy about vampires and drudges. By some miracle of maturing brain, he is clearly aware of the dreckishness, even though he likes the blood, gore, and excitement. Meanwhile, it occurs to me that if I were a vampire, I would have drudges who would be beavering away, quarrying out the midden that is a certain child's bedroom, hurling unwanted items and trash into the Dempsey dumpster that they so kindly had dragged to the front curb. And they would even be enjoying these Augean-Stables labors! Because they're drudges! It's their thing, their bag, their sweet meaning in life! I need a drudge!


For The Throne of Psyche, it's pre-order and discount season at your local independent bookstore, your chain, your online flogger... And so I have obeyed a suggestion in the Comments and put up an Amazon author page, so if you want to take a look at the book, you may then click on my name and find me there.


Here is my Mercer catalog copy for The Throne of Psyche. It looks quite attractive--that pale and peachy background color might have been picked just for my book... You'll have to imagine all the tasteful fonts and layout and so on. Also, the margins won't paste as they should, so you'll have to put up with a bit of waywardness on that front.

The blurby bit:

Marly Youmans is a native Carolinian
who currently lives in Cooperstown,
New York, with her husband and three
children. Her books include collections
of poetry, novels—her 2001 novel,
The Wolf Pit (Farrar, Straus & Giroux),
won The Michael Shaara Award—and
fantasies for young adults.

(That was before the Ferrol Sams Award, so it's not listed.)

The Throne of Psyche
Marly Youmans

Marly Youmans is “the best-kept secret among contemporary
—John Wilson, Books & Culture

In The Throne of Psyche, Marly Youmans sweeps back and forth between
what is human and what is other, binding the two together or crossing the thresholds
between them. A prize-winning writer of stories and novels, she pursues tales both
otherworldly and earthy with passion and formal power in this eighth book, her
second collection of poetry.

The title poem’s narrative governs the entire collection in its yoking of Eros to
Psyche. Psyche is the young girl brought in fear to a marriage chamber that transformsinto forest as “The little stars” go “shrieking through the wood” and her childhood innocence is “struck asunder.” But she is more than mortal as she passes in and out of time: the child who hears a dryad prophesy, the goddess who sits on a throne or plays “in the arms of Love / As starlight steadies in his perfect flesh,” the figure of meditation and grief who walks along the broken palace walls of home, the bold adventurer who has been to hell and drunk the blood of memory in the place where all she once loved is now shadow.

Elsewhere in these poems are other potent narratives and revelations where mortal
flesh slams into death and transformation: a woman dances with God, the poet speaks
in the form of a dryad, a sister transforms into a fish and swims away, a doll is cast out from home and overtaken by a demon, the otherworldly infiltrates the leastmost dust,and a new mother walks with Death in his forest.

Such metamorphoses and broodings on the door ajar between human and
other remind us that Marly Youmans is “the best-kept secret among contemporary
American writers. She writes like an angel—an angel who has learned what it is to be
human” (John Wilson, Books & Culture).

April 2011 poetry
6 x 9 100 pp. Cloth, $30.00t 978-0-88146-246-3 H826
6 x 9 100 pp. Paper, $18.00t 978-0-88146-232-6 P422


  1. I think that in this world, you have to pay drudges, or bribe them. Occasionally, one of my students worships me, so s/he will detail my car, babysit my cats while I'm out of town, or take me to lunch for the sheer pleasure of it. But this doesn't happen much.
    You're right that I'm gabby. Sorry... warned you!

  2. Yes, drudges come on salary. For people without several children in college, I imagine!

    Gabby is fine. Just teasing.


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.