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Preview: The Palace at 2:00 a.m.

Marly Youmans / The Palace at 2:00 a.m. / poems, stories, novels

Seek Giacometti’s “The Palace at 4 a.m.” Go back two hours. See towers and curtain walls of matchsticks, marble, marbles, light, cloud at stasis. Walk in. The beggar queen is dreaming on her throne of words…You have arrived at the web home of Mar

Updated: 2017-12-16T16:02:25.111-05:00


Happy 25th, Bright Hill!


Saturday, December 16th will bring a celebration of Bright Hill Literary Center and Press in Treadwell, New York. Founded by writer Bertha Rogers in the upper Catskills, the center is now 25 years old and promises to be overrun with poets and story makers all afternoon! Please come if you're in the area. And there will be a reading to accompany a Bright Hill anthology launch. I'll be the

St. Lucy's Day lights--


Saint Lucy (Lucia) of Syracuse as portrayed by art student Mary MacArthur of the Catholic Illustrator's Guild--she did this piece in a figure drawing class (and made a few additions) back in 2010. I had never heard of the CIG before this, but as I love Fra Angelico, I like their motto: Fra Angelico ora pro nobis. Instead of presenting St. Lucy's eyes on a gold plate, Mary MacArthur gives us

The Seven Secrets Issue


The Rollipoke News, no. 5 is out today. And is jammed and crammed with secrets. I promised secrets to subscribers, and here they are. Enjoy, those of you who subscribe! (If you feel left out would like to subscribe, look at the right-hand column, near the top, for a Rollipoke sign-up.) Most of the art above is by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. The camellia photo was taken by Mary Beth Kosowski. Thanks

Phoenicia Publishing holiday newsletter and sale


Beautiful December newsletter--take a look and think about supporting a fine small press founded by Beth Adams. Small publishers need your love, your encouragement, and your financial support (that's a vote in favor of continued life for a small press) to do what they are doing. One-week holiday sale. I've pilfered a copy for anyone who might not be lucky enough to find one in their email or see

Manuscript critique


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash Who will read my manuscript? This little gang of editors and writers was formed especially for the people who write and ask me to critique their manuscripts, and for those who ask for recommendations on how to find an editor. I have done some manuscript critiques for others (particularly friends-of-friends and locals) in the past but don't have time to do that



I've been a mite busy with birthdays, Thanksgiving, and deadlines... Still am tilting crazily against some deadlines. And so this is just to let you know that Maze of Blood is again on sale at Amazon for a mere ten bucks. Don't know if it'll last--it didn't, the prior time.

Clive and Glimmerglass


Hop to the U.K.  for  A Book a Day in Hay  with Clive Hicks-Jenkins (my jewel-minded Illuminator)  on Glimmerglass. Thank you to Clive and A Book a Day in Hay!

Reads of the moment


Camille Paglia, Glittering Images: A Journey through Art from Egypt to Star Wars. (New York: Pantheon Books.) I read this aloud to my husband on our drive to my mother's house in western North Carolina in October and finished it up on the way back to our home in upstate New York. Some of her speculations are of the very sheerest, but it's a great read-aloud if you love art and don't care for

Requiescat in pace, redux


How terrible that there are people who hate their lives so much that they hate existence itself and want to destroy it. Recent events keep telling us this thorny piece of news. We know that we can do something about tightening up licensing paperwork and getting rid of gun features that simply shouldn't be used by hunters or anyone who is not an active soldier. Discussion about such things is

Hot Buttons in the Arts


Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Christmas at Camelot, study for a screen-print, 2016. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight series. No undead Nobels! The lesson of history is that most writers, however celebrated they might have been in their own time, are quickly forgotten. --Samuel Johnson The latest flap about the Nobel prize in literature is Daphne Williams-Fox's effort to have the Nobel prize awarded

Short thoughts


Cherokee black ware by Joel Queen. Collection of potters Joan Byrd and George Rector. Bardo Center, Western Carolina University Thanks to Michael for the phone snaps! Jiggedy-jig Michael and I are in New York again after fifteen days in North and South Carolina (Cullowhee and Aiken, where I was born), in which we hiked, stared at art and scenery, visited my mother, feasted, and set a few

Handful of memories


Here's a peek at my recent travels--gardens, temples, castles, museums, and infinite Japanese pickles in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gero, and Sado Island. Sumimasen onegaishimasu, it seems I am inflicting a few images from my zillions of photographs on you... detail, a Chinese-style gate Baby octopi, Nishiki Market, Kyoto hidden bridge Matcha ice cream after octopus balls at the festival


Back in the states... More to come soon.

Listening to the visual


I'm going on something of a computer fast (for a reason that I'll talk about later) till near the end of this month.... Feel free to leave me a note; I will answer eventually! I also have some new book news that I may be able to talk about soon. I have a good many friends who are painters, and a number of them live in the space that looks as if it exists after photography and its

Art that says life matters


See this and more photographs of Juliette Aristides at The Bay Area Classical Artist Atelier post about a 2012 workshop with the artist. This year, the affliction of perpetual curiosity has sent me to podcasts related to the return to classical realism (or whatever you wish to call it) in painting. Perhaps because I have a lot of friends who are painters, perhaps because I'm always aware of

What survives


Ramesses II The only thing that ever survives from a culture is its arts. Political power is transient. Political power is nothing. It will vanish.  The most powerful man in the world is nobody. The only way we remember any of the powerful men of the world is the way they were captured by artists, often anonymous artists in ancient Egypt and Rome. The bequest of any civilization and the test

Powers of language in shadowy times


St. Elijah's Monastery near Mosul, Iraq, constructed in the late 6th century, obliterated in the 21st century Each of us is in contact with so many people via Facebook, twitter, the comments under online articles, and and so on, and I've felt burdened of late by certain dominant, humorless tendencies online. What if we tried to take a world that is slantdicular and often evil--something we

Linkfest: some poems online


Images from three in-print poetry books--The Throne of Psyche,Thaliad, and The Foliate Head.All art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. I have added about 150 links to poems online on the stories-and-poems page. Some are poems or excerpts from published books--Claire (LSU), The Throne of Psyche (Mercer), The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza), and Thaliad (Montreal: Phoenicia)--and others are from future books,

Larking at the Clark

2017-07-17T12:23:55.801-04:00 Michael and I had a glorious 30th anniversary celebration over the weekend in Williamstown, MA. Two days at the ever-fabulous Clark Art Institute, feasting at Coyote Flaco etc., lots of walks around Williamstown. (If you go and are of a literary bent, St. John's has a splendid Bunyan "Pilgrim's Progress" window, and there are fabulous

Marly at Porter Street


Big thanks to Chris Phillips for featuring "The Wrexham Coverlet" and "At the Fall in Borderlands" (published in the current issue of John Wilson's new Education and Culture) on his podcast, Word from Porter Street (#4 new series.) I'm at 2:45, but listen to the whole thing; it's a quick 15 minutes. Jump just HERE. 

Summer sampler, part two


Named as one of their Favorite Books of 2015 at Books and Culture Magazine, Maze of Blood  (Mercer University Press, 2015), is a visceral shot to the senses and a fine filament tugging at the imagination that examines the results of thwarted dreams and desires in the life of a young writer. Set in rural Texas in the 1930’s, Marly Youmans uses language as both scalpel and wand to conjure a place

Summer sampler, part one


"Its themes and the power of its language, the forceful flow of its storyline and its characters have earned the right to a broad national audience."30 July 2012 John M. Contemporary Literature excerpt mid-way in Chapter 10, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage. Pip runs away again, and this time he thinks to take Clemmie and her baby. * * * Stillness had come over

Conundrums of art


In between graduation parties and company and weeding the riot of summer and tidying the hovel and hanging out with the godly (the ones we now call Puritans), I've noticed a few things that seem good for those attracted by the arts. Creative economy podcast A lot of this tends toward the usual depressing stuff about the inability of the arts in our day to feed and clothe 99% of its practitioners

Poems: new online


I've just arrived back from more than a week at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. As but an Alternate Fellow, I was pleased and grateful to be invited. Meanwhile, some print magazines with my poems arrived, and a few poems popped up in online magazines. Here are links to the online poems at John Wilson's Education and Culture and Karen Kelsay and Jeff Holt's

To make or not to make--


This post is especially for Tim Davis, a retired professor who often visits here, and who just wrote a post about why writers write. He also linked to a Huffington Post article about the same. I started to answer him on his post and then realized my response was not a comment but a post itself and probably could be a book, though luckily I have no desire to write a book about the subject. Out