- ForeWord Book of the Year Award Finalist for Maze of Blood, 2015
- ForeWord Book of the Year Award Finalist for Glimmerglass, 2014
- Silver Prize in General Fiction category, ForeWord Book of the Year Awards, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, 2012
- ForeWord Book of the Year Award Finalist for A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, 2012
- The Ferrol Sams Award for A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, 2012
- Judge, Aldrich Press Poetry Prize, 2013 (Kelsay Books)
- Judging panel, National Book Award for Young People's Literature, 2012
- Writer-in-Residence, Hollins University, 2010
- Yaddo fellowship, 2007
- Arts member (with Makoto Fujimura), Faith as a Way of Life, a national working group under Miroslav Volf at Yale Divinity School, 2003-2007
- The Michael Shaara Award of The United States Civil War Center (Louisiana State University) for The Wolf Pit, 2001
- Short list (with Barry Hannah and winner Bobbie Ann Mason), The 2002 Southern Book Award of The Southern Book Critics Circle for The Wolf Pit
- Theodore Hoepfner awards (2) for the best short story of the year in The Southern Humanities Review
- Capital Magazine (Albany) “New Writers” award (1K, publication, and a reading at The Shaker Museum) for "Tall Jorinda," 1989
- The New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, 1991
- The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship
Makers Series at Third Church, Richmond; Pen Parentis Literary Salon, New York; Southern Independent Booksellers Association conferences; Festival of the Book, Nashville; Yale Divinity School FWL conference; Fujimura Institute Culture Care Summit at Cairn University; Bright Hill Literary Center; Antioch Writers Workshop; Mid-Atlantic Library Alliance conference; West Chester Poetry Conference; WSKG; Aberystwyth University, Wales; KGB Fantastic Fiction, New York; and more, including many library and bookstore events.
- Mary Boxley Bullington, "The King and the Fool" (multi-media painting)
- Paul Digby, seven video responses to my poems
- Makoto Fujimura, "The Pilgrim Soul" (story and paintings based on it presented several times at a Yale Divinity School conference.)
- Clive Hicks-Jenkins, various: cover/jacket, Val/Orson; jacket, The Throne of Psyche (detail from an existing painting); cover and interior art, The Foliate Head; cover/jacket and interior art, Thaliad; jacket and interior art, Glimmerglass; jacket and interior art, Maze of Blood
- Kim Vanderheiden, sequence of paintings with letter press elements in response to a poem from the sequence, The Book of the Red King
- Graham Ward, poems-for-paintings project for a solo show in the U.K.
When I think of Marly Youmans’ work, the word that comes to mind is “magic.” By this, I mean not only her language, but her evocation of mystery. Youmans’ poems always seem utterly new and startlingly familiar. Moreover, she has admirable range in terms of subject matter and tone. While I tend to favor her poems about the mythological, Youmans shows astonishing skill, whatever the subject. She is a poet working at the height of her powers.
Kim Bridgford, poet, editor, Mezzo Cammin, and Director, Poetry by the Sea
Marly Youmans is a great writer. Her prose is immaculate.
Laird Barron, novelist and writer
Youmans (pronounced like "yeoman" with an "s" added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. She writes like an angel--an angel who has learned what it is to be human.
John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Magazine
I cannot recommend an author more than Marly Youmans, whose fantastic prose is absolutely gorgeous and haunting.
Sebastien Doubinsky (Denmark), novelist and writer
My friend Marly Youmans is one of America's finest writers. Anyone who knows her work even slightly would have little trouble reaching that conclusion. From the very beginning of my awareness of her work, I realized that her voice was unique, her grasp of technique in poetry and fiction stunning, and her imagination boundless. She seems to combine two impossible-to-resolve things simultaneously: traditional forms and an edgy, almost avant-garde sensibility.
Philip Lee Williams, novelist, poet, writer
Youmans, one of the biggest secrets of contemporary American fiction, writes with freshness and beauty. Whether she’s writing historical fiction or fantasy, her characters leave one breathless. Her ability to describe a person, a place, or the psychological underpinnings of a plot or individual, ranks with the great novelists, the highest literature.
Jeffery Beam, poet
When a person reads a Marly Youmans poem, all the spaces ‘round about fall silent. The busy world is hushed, and her words, each one perfect and pinned in its perfect place, rise into the silence and burst into light. I, a poor mortal, can explain her work in no other terms.
Howard Bahr, novelist
Marly Youmans is brilliant, perhaps a genius... Her formal poems are impeccable and include sestinas, villanelles, rondels, rhyming schemes she may have invented, and perfect metrical patterns. Every poet can learn from this poet, and the reader—the reader will be spellbound.
Kelly Cherry, poet and novelist
Youmans is a writer of rare ability whose works will one day be studied by serious students of poetry.
Greg Langley, former Books Editor of The Baton Rouge Advocate
In the long run any publisher who will publish Marly Youmans will be building a back-list that will be as valuable as Eudora Welty's or Flannery O'Connor's.
Louis D. Rubin, Jr., critic, novelist, chaired professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, founder of the Hollins creative writing program and Algonquin Books
|Books and books and a red dragon|
from novelist Clare Dudman