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

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Corey Mesler & more

Corey Mesler is one of the writers I consulted on my upcoming posts on writing and publishing--I asked him about the small press world from the point of views of writer and bookseller. You'll see him again later. But now he has a new interview up at Flutter. He is both poet and novelist, and Flutter asked him to put on his poetry hat. Here are a couple of bites from the pie:

10. What is your ultimate goal as a poet? Are there any specific awards or prizes you strive for?

Oh, I don’t know. I feel like I have been so lucky already. My goal as a writer, years ago, was to have one book in print, one ISBN that I could call my own. So, to have, as my loving wife calls it, a body of work, well, it’s just too sweet. Of course, I would love to have a novel published by FS&G, or Dalkey Archive, or McSweeney’s, or Dzanc, but, what writer wouldn’t? But, realistically, I am not going to land at Knopf. I am very happy with every single publishing credit I have ever received, with every press who has ever published me. I am a small press author and that is, I believe, a fine thing to be. I have received many Pushcart nominations, and, I suppose, just once appearing in that formidable year-end tome would be grand. Oh, and an Oscar. Someday I want an Oscar.

2. What is your writing process?

After years of late night, sad bastard, flesh-lonely, darkly scrivened verse in imitation of whomever I was currently reading, after years of zero discipline, I finally, after marrying my current wife who, among other things, centered me, became an early morning writer. I get up before anyone else, make the coffee for my wife and daughter, and then go to my room. I am normally in front of the keyboard by 6 a.m., every day of the week. Discipline came late to me but, at least, it did come.

* * *

And now I must go write some more and also whisk about the downstairs, attempting to make house-drudging light, before I dash off. Good week for lunch: had a lovely one with painters Yolanda Sharpe and Ashley Cooper and now am going out with novelists Peggy Leon and Alice Lichtenstein. Happy (slightly belated) birthday, Peg! Her new novel from Permanent Press is here.

2 comments:

  1. Fascinating. If I had not already learned it from you, Miss Marly, a disciplined writer is more likely to be successful. I'm afraid my discipline, though it is indeed present, is scattered among many things... foremost among them, my jobs.

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  2. Hey, that is sweet! I am not as disciplined as I would like to be... But to be more disciplined, I would have to have fewer children and fewer obligations, and I would not like that idea! Yes, one's demands are...demanding.

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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.