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, March 23, 2015


Clive Hicks-Jenkins,
latest (4th of six) division page head for Maze of Blood.

Marly and Clive

Clive Hicks-Jenkins snipped comments from our letters to make this Artlog post (surprised me!) about the fourth head for Maze of Blood, the only one so far that has seemed to give him pause. He ended up using the gun sight as an eye. All the heads have an unusual eye--a beetle set sideways, a flower, a curl of mazy paper. Lots of thoughts, ending with responses from many people in the arts--writing, visual arts, music--about the final result.

And with Mr. Beam

This Artlog post is about a collaboration between two longtime friends of mine, Clive and North Carolina poet Jeffery Beam, who I have known even longer than I have known Clive. It also has some interesting comments about collaboration and about Maze of Blood, including the claim that "Marly takes even the most unnerving material and stitches in through with the sublime." Like that description.

Upcoming with Clive

Suzanne Brazil recently did a 2-part interview with me that ran at Blogcritics and at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. We're now plotting on a 3-way interview about collaboration--Suzanne, me, Clive. It'll be done the slow way, where Suzanne asks a question, one of us responds, and then the comment is sent on to the next person for a response. And so on, all organized and directed by Suzanne...


  1. Miss Marly, I apologise for not seeking your permission to snip and edit our e-mails into something closer to a map of our endeavours. I should have done so. I occasionally get carried away in the riptide of ideas and creativity, and neglect the courtesies. Please forgive me.

    1. No need to ask! Nothing to forgive... Can't wait to see what mischief is next!

  2. Fascinating to follow these creative goings-on as I do follow Clive's blog as well as yours.

    1. It is fun, especially since I know Jeffery and have met Pete Telfer and Damian and others...

  3. Fascinating. As one of those people who can't draw stick figures, it's interesting to see Clive's process. It reminds me of writing and rewriting. I love this line "It both matters and doesn’t matter, to the same degree and simultaneously." So specific and yet, all-encompassing. It's a startling image - a story unto itself. I can't comment on the relation to the novel not having read it but it definitely speaks on its own. Wonderful!

    1. Well, Midori Snyder is about the only person who has read it (because she offered to give me a blurb), and she declares it a fit.


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.