|Illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins|
Just for the record, sales of Thaliad are well over 400 copies - 425, in fact - and it continues to sell; it was the best seller at Phoenicia among our pre-2016 titles last year. This says to me that formalist poetry has lasting power in our time, and also it is well worthwhile to produce such books as the most beautifully designed and illustrated editions we can while making them affordable for ordinary readers.
Just before Christmas, I gave a copy to a friend who I thought might appreciate it. She ended up buying twelve copies to give to her own friends, and exclaimed over what an extraordinary work it is; she loved the edition and the artwork by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, but what struck her the most was the story Marly Youmans has told in the form of an epic poem for our time.
In other words, beautiful books with carefully wrought words and a timeless message are still sought out by certain readers, and we need to encourage their writing and making, because they will last.