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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

You Might Not Know

Various people have tagged me for the latest (possibly annoying) meme, Things You Might Not Know About Me... But I'm officially letting Gail Dooley (professor of music at Morningside College) tag me because she asked for six items:

1. I talked in paragraphs before I was one. True.
2. As a child, I couldn't bear tags or seams. I still cut out a lot of tags. True.
3. Also as a child, I ate raw vegetables and fruit only. And dessert. I had nothing against dessert. Perhaps this is why they tell me I have no bones. Only too true.
4. This one is to go with the "six" request: I will be sixty blinking years old on the 22nd yet don't believe it. True, mostly. Now and then I believe it, mainly when my back hurts.
5. Because I was a poet and an innocent about publishing, this is how I published my first book: I read a book called Salar the Salmon (great book!) published by David R. Godine of Boston. I thought if they loved Williamson, they might like me. I put my manuscript in a little brown envelope and sent it off with a lick and a stamp in the way people used to do back in the golden age of publishing. Three months later I called the publisher. The operator had never heard of me and said to call back in three days. I did, and he had heard of me this time and said the manuscript was on Mr. Godine's desk. Took a long time to come out, but that was my first book. Absolutely true, and a good hope for innocent writers.
6. I have never looked for an agent and am spoiled on that count. My first found me when my first book was in galleys. The great Louis D. Rubin, who died (to my very deep sadness) in the past day, suggested me to my second. Now I don't have one at all and like it so far, although it has drawbacks. Some day I might embrace a third. Maybe. Or not. And the facts are true there, and the end waffley enough to pass muster.

Good night!


  1. What happened, exactly, to the age '60'?
    I remember what that was when I was growing up, and I know now that it is a very different thing to what it once was.
    The Beatle's, "When I'm 64" makes little sense these days!
    I am so sorry to read of the loss of your friend, Marly.

    I did not know you were a paragraph. HAHA!
    You're a jolly good one though.

  2. Hi Paul, and thanks all around. I hope by the time I arrive home, you have some new music!

  3. A precocious child, and still bit of one!

    Lost a friend? Condolences, my dear.

  4. Good list. I like the raw fruits and vegetable thing (with dessert!). All good bits of info about you.

  5. That Salar the Salmon story has always stuck in my mind about you, and unexpected and pleasing connection.

    Sorry for the loss of your friend, but wishing you the very manyest of happiest returns on your forthcoming birthday.

  6. Marja-Leena,

    I hope to be still a bit of a child! The right bit... the one that can dream child dreams...


    Wish I had had a think for dairy! Might have bones...


    Ah, ha! Must have used that before in one of these endless memes! That was an utterly innocent way of going about things, wasn't it?

    * * *

    Tucked up in a 1796 b & b for the night, sitting by a pleasant fire. Home soon!


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.