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."
Thanks, Magda Pecsenye! 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:
70 Faces: Torah Poems
Angels & Beasts
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:
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."
"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!
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