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Saturday, May 30, 2020


You are invited
to a
Pandemic Book Party

Jane Greer, Sally Thomas, Marly Youmans
reading from their new books:
two poetry collections and a novel.

Friday, June 12
North America: 
3:00 Eastern, 
2:00 Central, 
1:00 Mountain, 
noon Pacific.
World time zone converter HERE.

Register in advance 

Jane Greer,
Love Like a Conflagration
Jane Greer founded Plains Poetry Journal, a literary magazine that was an advance guard of the New Formalism movement, in 1981, and edited it until 1993. Her poetry collections include Bathsheba on the Third Day (1986) and Love like a Conflagration (2020).
For  more about Jane, hop HERE
Buy her book via indies, Lambing Press, Amazon, Bookshop, and more...

Sally Thomas,
Sally Thomas is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Fallen Water (2015) and Richeldis of Walsingham (2016), both from Finishing Line Press. Her full-length poetry book, Motherland, was a finalist for the Able Muse Book Award, and is available now from Able Muse Press.
For Motherland news at Sally's site, skip over to HERE
Buy her book via indies, Able Muse, Amazon, Bookshop, and more...

Marly Youmans,
Charis in the World of Wonders
Author of fifteen books of poetry and fiction, including The Book of the Red King (Phoenicia Publishing, 2019) and Charis in the World of Wonders (Ignatius Press, 2020.)
For reviews, purchase venues, blurbs, etc., jump HERE

Friday, May 29, 2020

On traveling in the past: Charis in the World of Wonders

One of the demands of writing a novel set in the past is that a writer not put people and thoughts of his or her own day into fancy dress. Not give us woke people in linsey-woolsey. Not present people with our own concerns about climate (well, maybe if it's a Ruskin--so prescient!) or our own beliefs about how a woman may be heroic or our own attitudes toward childbirth or child-rearing or many another thing. In Catherwood, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, Maze of Blood, and now Charis in the World of Wonders, my desire is always to enter into another world, to believe that time is a realm I can find and walk around in if I am imaginative and reasonably knowledgeable. 

For the new book, one wish of mine was that Charis be a convincing citizen of the godly (Puritan to us), and that I would not fail to enter into her feelings about family, the wilderness, native peoples, the French, God, marriage, childbirth, community, and all the terrors and pleasures of the New World. And where she came to differ from the most common view, it had to be because she was forced by circumstances to learn something new that tempered or transformed what she thought to be the truth. It struck me that the most difficult thing to portray for contemporary readers would be religious faith and feeling, now so alien to many, and so easy to get wrong.

So I was especially pleased to see a comment about Charis's faith from poet Sally Thomas, discussing a review at the DarwinCatholic blog. Here it is, pilfered from facebook:
I particularly appreciate the allusion to Ron Hansen's Mariette in Ecstasy in this review. I hadn't thought of those two novels as parallel in any way, but among other things, a comparison on the point of the un-ironic handling of religious sensibility is apt. It is so very, very easy for the contemporary novel to wink and nudge at the reader – the religious characters are either dumber than we are in their belief, or are hypocrites whom we see through (wink wink nudge nudge). Or else they're caught in amber, as not-quite-living relics of a not-quite-living past. 
What I think both Charis and Mariette accomplish (though this is far from the only thing both novels accomplish) is to present a spectrum of characters, a whole human range of people, who all believe in God (and further, operate wholly within the world of a shared tradition of belief). There is awareness of a world outside that tradition – for Charis it's the indigenous tribes and the Catholic French. In fact, Charis goes farther in imagining the whole diverse tapestry of its world than I remember Mariette's doing. But the world that is each novel's focus is itself a tapestry of human personalities and livings-out of belief. This is part of why, as a novel taking up religion as a concern, each one rings true.
And surprise, Sally Thomas is doing a launch for her poetry book Motherland on Zoom on this very day at 3:00! Go HERE if you want an invitation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Charis reviews, new poems, and more

Charis in the World of Wonders reviews

Greg Langley, The Baton Rouge Advocate: 
23 May 2020

Ben Steelman, The Wilmington StarNews:  
16 May 2020

Here's a blog review by Cat Hodge

Podcast review

Text clip:  What really makes this novel good is the interior life of the protagonist. She's an interesting character, and with a very rich, beautiful interior monologue... There is a sensitivity of  language; the language is beautiful without being overwrought... It's lovely,  it's captivating, it's beautiful. --Melanie Bettinelli, Raising the Betts podcast #051 (begins 38:25 mark), StarQuest Media Network /

New poems online

Three, including a commissioned pandemic poem... 
Thank you to The Living Church (Episcopal) for requests.

Smalls and Tinies

The next ten months will see ten miniature 
stories or story-like things
at North American Anglican
Here's the first: Iolanthe


Several at The Ballsians 
(youtube channel)

And more at my own site

Monday, May 04, 2020

LOL (lots of links)

A illustration by Galen Dara for one of my stories.
Because certain foreign readers (in countries with some difficulty in affordable book ordering) wanted to read more of my poems and stories, I have updated my record on my Short stories and poems page.

Though I tend to be a bit careless about record-keeping, I've added stories and poems, and I have added a lot of links. I hope that people enjoy some of these...

I've also added a section of what I call Tinies, and that section will have more links as some of these appear--ten will be coming out in the next ten months at North American Anglican.

Note for those who use I don't know what's going on with Bookshop, but my books have suddenly become hard to bring up by search there. I'll try and have them sort it out, but in the meantime, you can go directly to my own Bookshop page to search. They don't have all of my in-print books, but there are six: