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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving, 2020...

Here's a dream of peace and health and gratitude for Thanksgiving. "The Peaceable Kingdom" by Edward Hicks, folk painter and Quaker minister. "Love one another." (Edward Hicks - National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., online collection.)

Amazon, indies, Ignatius... Finally! I've been disheartened by how few ways there are to purchase Charis in the World of Wonders, thanks to Covid-era warehouse/post/distribution problems and the book selling out at some indies & Amazon, but it is at last back up at Amazon. Want to order Charis in the World of Wonders through your local indie but having Covid-time troubles obtaining it? When brand new indie Goldberry (Concord, NC) wanted more copies, they ordered directly from Ignatius instead of the distributor. Workable idea!  Of course, you can order straight from Ignatius as well. 

CWR used an image by my daughter from 2013.

Carl  Olson, “Axe-grinding and message spoil what you make”: An interview with Marly Youmans  And here's an extensive interview with me, conducted by editor and writer and artist  Carl Olson over several weeks. Catholic World Report, 22 November 2020 (landed on my birthday.)

Hand and Charis-copy of Carl Olson's sister, 
somewhere near Glacier National Park...

I'm grateful to Catholic World Report for being interested in my Massachusetts Bay Colony adventure, as they also hosted the marvelous review by Jane Greer, 2020’s "Best-kept Literary Secret: Marly Youmans’ Charis in the World of Wonders is broad and deep, sweet and savage, funny and terrifying, and just plain grand."

Editor John Wilson on A YEAR OF READING: 2020Look for Charis in the World of Wonders...

Monday, November 16, 2020

Reading with the Plague Papers

Reading a poem live 
Tuesday, November 17 
at 5:00 EST 

with The Plague Papers (anthology of ekphrastic poems based on pieces from museum collections) cohort! For a link to the event, please RSVP by email to OR message me privately on twitter or facebook. Hosted by Robbi Nester and Cati Porter.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Tonight at Easton Book Festival

Hosted by editor and book critic John Wilson
7:00 p.m. EST 
November 15

Easton Book Festival event release:  "Marly Youmans is one of today’s masters of language and imagination. Her poetry and fiction blend fantastic, historical, and everyday elements that have delighted readers for decades. In this program, book critic and editor John Wilson introduces a series of dramatic readings of Youmans’s fiction and poetry, from her critically acclaimed Catherwood (1996) to her recently released Charis in the World of Wonders."

Readers include artist, writer, and culture shaper Makoto Fujimura, actor Keisuke Hoashi, professor and writer Chris Phillips, and theatre student Lauren Stango.


"The broadcast is at 7pm EST tonight (I.e., very soon), and will be on and the festival’s YouTube channel:

[Makoto Fujimura] is uploading his recording, and I’ll add it to a new version of the video." So there will be a slightly longer recorded version up later that includes Mako reading from Charis in the World of Wonders.

Friday, November 13, 2020


I'm still in house quarantine after returning from North Carolina (the state now has a shorter and more lenient version, but I don't qualify for that, having left under the old rules), so my life has not been too exciting of late. However, I'm expecting something wonderful about my books at the online Easton Book Festival, I have some other e-events coming up, I have a long interview coming out soon, and I'm about to meet up with the Cathedral Arts committee in Albany in a few minutes.

And I'd like to share a link to this just-out review of Charis in the World of Wonders by Jane Greer. While the review has been shared and re-shared on social media, I am hoping it gets a little more attention through the blog. I could not be more grateful for her remarkably strong review. Please read and pass on to readers you think might be interested. I would be glad of that at any time but especially glad in this year of pandemic book launches.

Sample clip:

The book invites comparison with other works, such as The Odyssey (arduous homecoming after war), The Book of Job (wretched loss without lost faith), and Cinderella (good prevailing over evil). It has aspects of all these classics. Charis faces nearly insurmountable issues but perseveres. She is heroic inside and out.

The novel’s compelling plot, realistic characters, gentle humor, and historicity are strengths, but the first attraction is its glorious prose. Reviewers—there have been a few—can’t resist quoting the book’s opening paragraph. Someday it may be as well-known as the first lines of A Tale of Two Cities or Anna Karenina.

Monday, November 02, 2020

The Plague Papers at Poemeleon

"The Wife's Reply," originally at Autumn Sky Poetryis now part of poet Robbi Nester's anthology The Plague PapersThe online anthology is inviting and colorful, images that inspired its poems arranged in a lovely table-of-contents grid by Cati Porter of Poemeleon, where the online book is housed.

Clip from Robbi's introduction:  In this anthology, the only one of its kind to my knowledge, we have asked writers to choose individual items from [museum] collections, and to tell us about them in poetry or prose. The works are listed alphabetically by the names of the museums in which the objects are located. Like other forms of Ekphrasis, the resulting works may interpret the work in question, imagine its creation, comment on the difference between the work online and in person, or spin a narrative about it, but with the aid of the link included with each piece, readers can immediately visit the museums and see for themselves what all the fuss is about. This book will introduce them to institutions they may explore for themselves online and perhaps, after the danger has passed, in person.

Mine is a response to an Old English poem in The Exeter Book (circa 970), housed in the library collection belonging to the Exeter Cathedral. Traditionally known as "The Husband's Message," the somewhat-damaged lines convey an exiled man's call for his wife or his betrothed to cross the sea to meet him. In riddling style (The Exeter Book also holds riddles), the request is spoken by a tree that has learned to speak, its wood now holding a carved, runic, secret cry.

About Robbi: Robbi Nester is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent being Narrow Bridge (Main Street Rag, 2019). She has also edited two other anthologies, one of which, Over the Moon: Birds, Beasts, and Trees, was also published as a special issue of Poemeleon.

A dim, gloomy Hallowmas...
Starting my mandated quarantine with All Saints Day...
Here's how the family welcomed me home...
Giant jack o' lanterns (minus one some mischievous Yankee stole)
and lady ghost and owl and noisy skull-knocker...

All Saints in the wee hours...
First snow of winter is on the giant pumpkins and chrysanthemums...
Snow plows scraping and jingling...
900 miles from Cullowhee...
Guess I'm really and truly back in Cooperstown.