Author and Rabbi Rachel Barenblat at a recent reading/book signing event in Massachusetts. She has presented poems from her new book about pregnancy and early parenthood to a number of groups. Parents of all ages have told her how moved they are by the book's honest portrayal of the joys and challenges of those months. Waiting to Unfold
addresses the often-hidden subject of post-partum depression, as well as the great joys of anticipation, birth, the creation of parental bonds, and the astonishing miracle of a baby's early development.Rachel will be signing books at various upcoming events, including this summer's ALEPH Kallah (Alliance for Jewish Renewal), where she will also be teaching a fully-subscribed course, "Writing the Poems of Your Heart."If you'd like to buy a signed copy of Waiting to Unfold but live far away from the Northeastern U.S., please send us an email and we'll make the arrangements.
We're so pleased that the well-known parenting blog, Ask Moxie
, has chosen Rachel Barenblat's collection of mother-poems for their Summer 2013 Readalong
! Here's what they said about it:"This book is two cycles, one of pregnancy, and one of the first year after her child's birth. The poems have that same "Oh! I'd forgotten about how beautiful/hard/sad/quiet/fierce that was" quality that all true stories about the first year of parenthood do, and made me laugh and tear up a little and feel nostalgic and sad for new mothers everywhere. Rachel blogs at Velveteen Rabbi. Discussion post will go up May 29.
And Happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere.
In honor of National Poetry Month, paperback editions of all our full-length poetry books are on sale for the price of $12.50 rather than the usual $13.95. The sale price will be applied when you visit the e-store, or any Amazon.com site.
Titles included are: Thaliad 70 Faces: Torah PoemsAngels & BeastsAncient Lights Mercy Island.Brilliant Coroners.
Take advantage of the excellent price, and support poetry and independent publishing at the same time!
We were delighted to read a highly appreciative, detailed review of Thaliad from the Welsh book reviewer and blogger, Tom in the Red Room.
He calls Thaliad
and points out:
- an extraordinary, deeply moving and fiercely intelligent poem
- "one of the best examples [of the post-apocalyptic genre] I’ve ever read"
- "a desperate and genuinely moving cling to life that’s equal parts bleak and uplifting, harrowing and hopeful."
- a book written in verse which "has some strikingly novelistic traits: chapter divisions, direct speech, and a first person narrator, all of which should act as a helpful way-in for those readers more familiar with novels than poetry."
- "the sheer inventiveness and lyrical exuberance of Youmans’ writing"
- [it is] "structurally formal, but the poetry never feels rigidly metered or constrained; a feat entirely due to the beauty, flow and vitality of the writing"
- "As well as being unusually beautiful, Thaliad’s artwork is loaded with symbolism and connotation."
- "The book’s real appeal is its language, its characters and the heartbreaking decisions they find themselves making. Marly Youmans takes great pains to ensure that Thaliad isn’t one of those post-apocalyptic narratives whose characters are mere passive bystanders swept along by Big, Important, Global events beyond their control. Choices made and not-made are the thematic heart of the poem..."
Tomcat also discusses the Classical references in the book, but makes it clear that a knowledge of ancient literature is not at all necessary for enjoyment of the book. He himself is a Sci-Fi fan, and concludes by saying that Thaliad
is "a convergence of genre spaces, and we Science Fiction fans, sometimes so rigid and stubborn in our reading, would do well to embrace it."It's a delight when a reviewer really "gets"a book, and writes about it so well. Thank you, Tom.
After reading Thaliad
twice, Finnish-Canadian artist Marja-Leena Rathje has posted about it on her well-read blog
Saying that Marly Youmans' magical writing "swept her into another world," she quoted some favorite lines that reminded her of waves repeatedly washing ashore. "That repetition and rhythm made me think of The Kalevala
, a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology."Marja-Leena is a printmaker and lifelong
professional artist; in addition to her remarks on the text, she commented on Clive Hicks-Jenkins' illustrations
and the book design by Elizabeth Adams, saying that Thaliad
was actually "a collaboration between three artists."She concludes:"There's something about [Marly's] writing that I enjoy reading most during the night hours (2 a.m.?) perhaps when the magic feels strongest."
"...a beautiful and powerful book -- worth owning, worth reading and rereading. I am so glad that it exists in the world and that I can turn to it, time and again, glorying in the language and the hope."
Rachel Barenblat has just posted a review of Thaliad
at her blog, The Velveteen Rabbi. In it she describes her experience, as the parent of a young child, of reading Marly Youmans' powerful poem of seven children who've survived an apocalypse. She writes:This is not a poem which shies away from awful realities. There is violence here, and rot, and fear, and cruelty. Fortunately there is also hope, just enough hope to keep me reading, to keep me trusting that somehow, against all odds, this small band of children will survive to begin the world again.The book is told in the voice of a narrator who was chosen, and becomes a sort of priest
, rabbi, wise woman, and keeper of the history:
Emma is anointed, chosen to become the community's bard, "to speak of us in words / translucent to the people," to become "High Storyteller of the fallen world." I love these lines, with their glimpse of how the children in the stolen van must have survived, must have rebuilt. And I love the notion that "catching souls in nets of liturgy" and telling stories clearly are among the masteries which are meaningful and needed by the human tribe, as of course I believe that they are.Rachel, herself a storyteller and teacher, continued to read, and finally concludes:The epic poem form is not an easy one, and in lesser hands this audacious project would have failed...but Marly makes it work. The subject matter, postapocalyptic survival, is grand enough to merit the form she's chosen -- and the children's journey is told with deep sentiment but no cloying sentimentality. This is a beautiful and powerful book -- worth owning, worth reading and rereading. I am so glad that it exists in the world and that I can turn to it, time and again, glorying in the language and the hope.
We are delighted today to announce the eagerly-awaited publication of Thaliad, by Marly Youmans,
with illustrations by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Not only is this a literary work of astonishing beauty and power, it is specially designed and offered both as a paperback, and as a collectible, limited-edition hardcover with printed dust-jacket and foil-stamped, cloth binding.And if you order early
, you can receive our SPECIAL BOOKPLATE OFFER. The first 50 people to order either edition of Thaliad before Dec 25, 2012 will receive an original, hand-pulled, relief-print bookplate, specially designed and printed by Clive Hicks-Jenkins for
Thaliad. To receive your bookplate, you must forward your order confirmation from the online store, or from Amazon, with your name and address
, to us at
phoeniciapublishing(at)gmail(dot) com. The bookplate will be sent to you separately by mail. And, once again, this offer will expire on December 25, 2012, so please place your order early to be assured of receiving a bookplate.
The official launch date for Marly Youmans' Thaliad,
in both hardcover and paperback, is December 1, but until then we're offering a very special price of $23.00
on pre-orders of the limited edition hardcover. This book, illustrated by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, is so gorgeous that screen shots can't do it justice, and the story itself is compelling, moving, suspenseful, and masterfully told -- and it reads like a novel.Thaliad
would be a wonderful Christmas present for any art or poetry lover on your list!
From ghosts and visitations, malevolent folk spirits, spells, incantations and curses to surrealistic takes on the present and the future -- poets love the weird, the absurd, and the supernatural. Now through November 1, receive a generous 20% off
on these four poetry books, when ordered through our online store. Use coupon code MGQ8JWW
when ordering. (E-store only; offer not available for Amazon orders.)Angels & Beasts
, by Claudia SereaWatermark
, by Clayton Michaels: "Right now I feel so goddamn rock-and-roll --
like a grinning
Keith Richards death's-head
"... (from "Watermark")Journaling the Apocalypse
vol 1.1) edited by Dave Bonta and Beth AdamsWords of Power
vol 1.4) edited by Dave Bonta and Beth AdamsThanks, and Happy Halloween!
We're delighted to announce the publication of Angels & Beasts
, a full-length poetry collection of 74 prose poems by Claudia Serea. The author is a Romanian-American poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995, and while her work always carries within it the memory of what she and the Romanian people have experienced, her blend of surrealism, black humor, and imagery is all her own.Howie Good, writing about Serea's work, says "These prose poems are as sharp as the shrapnel from a nail bomb. They leave you shaken and bloodied and awed that anything so small can be so powerful.And Lisa Marie Basile
says, "Serea’s Angels & Beasts manages to perfectly blend quirky surrealism with expert minimalist craft: her sentences are woven with a stunning attention to detail, seemingly stitched with the same blood, fruit and tears that she writes about. When she writes, “The pears were small red tears we weren’t allowed to eat,” the reader cannot help but to feel as if she devoured something forbidden. The body is on high when reading Serea."Here at Phoenicia we were stunned by this manuscript when we received it, and are proud to publish it today. We hope you will agree that these are remarkable and unforgettable poems.FULL ORDERING INFORMATION, AUTHOR BIO, AND LINKS TO ONLINE EXCERPTS