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

Friday, August 01, 2014

Thalia on the move--

Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2012.
Hardcover from Phoenicia only
and paperback from the usual suspects.
Interior/exterior art, Clive Hicks-Jenkins
with design by Elizabeth Adams.
In this country, where a small press poetry book sometimes sells in the dozens and is doing well when it sells a few hundred copies and where long poems are rare and surprising, I am pleased to say that Thaliad appears to be alive, still trickling into the world, and even appears to be picking up a few small classroom orders. (Last year I visited two classes at Wofford College taught by writer Jeremy L. C. Jones; they were reading both Thaliad and A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage. I know it is being taught in St. Louis this fall, and would love to know more about where it might be popping up, but those things are hard to know.)

I have been happy with reviews of the book, including Amazon reviews and Goodreads reviews, which show me that the book's readers (including quite a few writers) like the wedding of a wild novelistic adventure tale, developed characters, and a beautiful, ruined setting with the largeness and force of the epic. I thank them for playing in and helping to create one of my worlds.

To confess the truth, I was prepared for the idea that this book might find only a handful of readers. I am glad that some people in this country and elsewhere are proving me wrong. It is thrilling to find that readers are daring the quest for a home and re-building the world with Thalia.


One of Clive's many interior decorations.

Energy and persistence conquer all things. 
--Benjamin Franklin, wordsmith, founder, inventor, diplomat, etc.

4 comments:

  1. So happy to hear this. Books spread. These students, if some of them become teachers, will remember, and may teach the books to their students as well.
    And so it goes on...! Here's hoping there's lots more of that sort of contagion happening with your books.
    If I were teaching, I would use them as samples in workshops, for sure.

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    1. Thanks, Miss R-r-r-r-obinka adored by elderly White Russians everywhere! And now I'm off--by!

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  2. Hurrah for epic poetry! Hurrah for contemporary epic poetry!

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    1. Whee! Bushwhacking through the tradition--

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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.