pre-order Thaliad

From today you can pre-order Marly Youman’s new title Thaliad from Phoenicia Publishing. I’ve had a preview of the work that Elizabeth Adams has done on its design, and I can promise you that the book is going to be very beautiful.

Praise for Thaliad.

…a wondrous text filled with richly layered and evocative poetry. Like a bardic tale, it demands to be read aloud. The images of nature are sensual, fertile, a source of healing. Violence is hammered into fierce staccato rhythms and Thalia’s ecstatic visions soar with heat and light as the human spirit is consoled by the divine. We are not spared the hardships of the journey, but through the storyteller’s voice we have confidence in our destination—it is this commitment to the angels of our better nature in Youmans’ sublime poetry that gives Thaliad its power to inspire hope out of fear and love out of hate.” 
-Midori Snyder, from In the Labyrinth

Daringly, Marly Youmans’ Thaliad takes the blank verse epic into post-apocalyptic territory. In its reflections on group memory and foundational myth, this is a poem that relishes the ways in which the modern teller – whether the bard Emma or Youmans herself – fashions fragile new worlds in the act of rehearsing the old. Above all, perhaps, Thaliad is a plea against violence in all its forms; a call – articulated in different voices throughout – to protect not only the wellsprings of human love, but also those of the natural world, whose ‘simple golden wedding’ we may yet experience, as long as our memory is sufficiently long, and our desire for a different future strong enough.
-Damian Walford Davies, poet and co-director of the Centre for Romantic Studies, 
Aberystwyth University, Wales
 
In Thaliad, Marly Youmans has written a powerful and beautiful saga of seven children who escape a fiery apocalypse— though “written” is hardly the word to use, as this extraordinary account seems rather “channeled” or dreamed or imparted in a vision, told in heroic poetry of the highest calibre. Amazing, mesmerizing, filled with pithy wisdom, Thaliad is a work of genius which also seems particularly relevant to our own time. 
-Lee Smith, award-winning author of 16 books of fiction

I made seventeen decorations for the interior of Thaliad, and these are scattered throughout the book as the frontispiece, a decorative border, character portraits and chapter headings and tailpieces. I also designed the cover, producing the image and lettering from painted paper collage.

This is my fourth collaboration with Marly on her books. Previously I’ve made covers for her novel Val Orson, and two volumes of poetry, The Throne of Psyche and The Foliate Head. She contributed a chapter to last year’s monograph Clive Hicks-Jenkins, published by Lund Humphries, and was one of the writers included in the anthology The Book of Ystwyth: six poets on the art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

6 responses to “pre-order Thaliad

  1. Thank you, Clive! My own brain feels awash in oak leaves, berried garlands, and village-scapes that capture the New England-y essence of places Marly and I have always called home, but are not at all Welsh — it’s a tribute to your artistic brilliance that you’ve been able to create a world and an emotional climate for Thaliad that is so perfect and evocative of both text, place, and the creative force itself — a major theme of the book. I’m sure that the readers will agree.

    As for the storm, up here in Montreal we expect rain and winds but not the same level of damage and disruption as further south. But these things are notoriously unpredictable.I always worry for the huge old poplars in the parks; they are like beloved elders to me.

    • It’s true that I immersed myself deeply in American themes for this book. After all, I’d been there and loved it long ago, and my attraction to all things Pennsylvania Dutch is hardly a secret. So this project was the greatest pleasure for me. Conjuring images to realise the extraordinary world of Thaliad has hardly qualified as work at all. I’m so pleased that you and Marly are happy with what I produced. I know that for your part the direction I took with the decorations came as rather a surprise when first I showed you some of them, but thereafter your trust and support were unwavering, and made me confident even when courage flagged or I was tired.

      Look out for those poplars. I hope that they, and you and yours, remain safely rooted throughout the storms.

  2. Thanks, Clive! I am scurrying out in the windy world to try and cover today’s events and most of Tuesday’s appointments–hurricane Sandy is already tossing the trees under a thick, gloomy sky. Just hope we don’t lose power for too long, as Irene and Lee took out the cars and the power last time, and for some reason we were among the last four houses in town to get it back. Will make it chilly this time, I fear.

      • Clive & Beth too: “Thaliad” looks so splendid! Unbelievably beautiful–is it even prettier than “The Foliate Head?” What a seamless whole! I am the luckiest writer in the world to have such friendships!

        Think we may lose power soon but shall write you after the deluge… Drat, the kitchen is leaking–water blown up under the roof. Must go around the house and check everything. It has stood for more than two centuries, so better not give up now (I’m hoping no trees on cars this time around!) xoxo

        • Marly, I hope the deluge may hold at bay and not come-a-blowing-and-a-leaking into the house. Your home has braved two centuries of whatever the weather can throw at it, and so I’m sure it’ll survive this storm. Bolt the doors and batten down the hatches. E-mail me when the worst is over, just so I know all is well.

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