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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mercer at PW



Congratulations to Mercer University Press, director Marc Jolley, and staff on Mercer's 35th anniversary! Here they are on the back cover of Publishers Weekly. Below, see them on the interior back cover. (You can find Glimmerglass on one of those, and me on the other.)

As someone who writes both poetry and fiction and who values collaboration, I've inevitably found a wild range of publishers--Big 6 (now Big 5) houses, mid-size houses, small presses, and university presses, and there are very different things to say about each. But I can say that Mercer is distinguished as producing immaculate books that pass my librarian mother's tests (the only time a book has ever passed her demanding scrutiny), allowing writer input and collaboration (as Glimmerglass, with art by Clive Hicks Jenkins), and possessing a stellar design team (Mary-Frances Glover Burt did a wonderful job with Glimmerglass.) I have enjoyed frolicking with smaller houses and being a part of making beautiful books like Glimmerglass, Thaliad, and The Foliate Head. Mercer's designers also made very handsome books for A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage and The Throne of Psyche, which won an Addy for design. (See tabs above if you're curious about any of those books.)

As a child I spent part of every summer in Georgia and still go back there at times--mostly for funerals, alas. I was born barely over the South Carolina line in Aiken, but Georgia was the only constant place in my childhood because my father--the bright Georgia sharecropper's boy who became a teenage tail-gunner in World War II and then a professor of analytical chemistry--had a strong itch to move on and see the world. So I rather like the idea of having a publisher who returns me to that part of the country.


Addendum to the day: West Chester Poetry Center and Conference

To support Kim Bridgford, just removed as Director of the WCU Poetry Center, write to:

Dr. Lori A. Vermeulen
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Chemistry
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Anderson Hall, Suite 119
West Chester, PA 19383

Thanks to Allison Joseph for sharing the news. If you care about the conference and poetry center, please write in support of the stellar job Kim Bridgford has done.

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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.