Readers of Pulp Literature will know the high standards of quality that go into every page. That attention to detail is the result of hard effort from many talented people, including our proofreader, Dr Mary Rykov. We became friends with Mary in Issue 2, when we printed her wonderful poem, “A Siren’s Tale.” Since then, Mary has done the final polish on each issue and we only wish she lived closer!
Today we’d like to congratulate Mary on her full scholarship to Sage Hill, where she will enjoy a 10-day poetry residency with Steven Heighton. This is an honour and congratulations are in order! To find our more about Mary and her work as a poet, editor, or music therapist, visit maryrykov.com.
Some slippery characters are harder to catch than others, but poet Mary Rykov slung her net around the fish-tailed catch of ‘A Siren’s Song’ from Pulp Literature Issue 2.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? A ship of Argonauts with no wax in their ears.
What is your greatest fear? A ship of Argonauts with no wax in their ears.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I sing the ones I love to death. <sigh>
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Ear wax.
On what occasion do you lie? I always lie.
What do you most dislike about your appearance? Those bird feathers. I much prefer mermaid garb.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Stop kissing my mouth.”
When and where were you happiest? Circa 8 BCE at the height of my charms, singing on my lovely Mediterranean island beach.
Which talent would you most like to have? To sing louder than Orpheus.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I am celebrated to this day by poets for my beauty and for my clear voice.
What is your most treasured possession? My beauty and my clear voice.
What is your most marked characteristic? My mythical status as metaphor for the binding power of death.
Who is your favourite writer? Homer, of course!
What is your greatest regret? Circe’s warning to Odysseus.
How would you like to die? Too late, I’m dead. The ship sailed past, and I died.
What is your motto? “My song of pleasure leads only to death.”
What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘A Siren’s Tale’? I love the thrill of the catch, but not cleaning the fish …
Mary H Auerbach Rykov is a music therapist-researcher, writer-poet, educator and editor whose current focus is music-evoked imagery for writers and artists. She is also our dedicated Pulp Lit final proofreader. Read more at maryrykov.com.
You can find ‘A Siren’s Tale’ in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulp Literature, available through our Kickstarter page.
Wouldn’t you love to pin your Muse down and ask her a few pointed questions? Susan Pieters managed it with Capture of the Muse in Issue 2 … and then got a few more out of her for this questionnaire.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? A day in the Louvre.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Diligence and devotion to the mundane. Dutiful people who never take time to smile or dream or appreciate beauty, and call their dullness a virtue.
On what occasion do you lie? Isn’t all art a lie? Otherwise we’d call it reality. And wouldn’t that be a pity, if we had to stick with reality?
What do you most dislike about your appearance? The fact it keeps changing upon my mood. This morning I woke up in a diaphanous gown, with waltz music playing in my head. Now that I’ve had to do this interview, my dress has turned a dismal navy blue.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Beautiful! Lovely! Gorgeous!”
When and where were you happiest? When I was a child, before my parents separated. I dream of helping them re-unite, but that seems unlikely.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m very fond of Michelangelo’s David, but I really can’t take credit myself. All my work must come through human hands.
What is your most marked characteristic? Cat-like unpredictability.
Who are your favourite writers? I’ve known so many, but I had the most fun back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I’d go anywhere with Jules Verne, and he knew it. Stories started slowing down around the time of James Joyce, but now things are picking up again.
What is your greatest regret? That I must use others to create something beautiful. I’ve been invoked, thanked, and blamed. But never do I get to sign my own name to anything.
All of the above issues are available on our Kickstarter page. Subscribe so you don’t miss any. And if all this talk of Muses has yours nagging you, why not treat her to our Year of the Muse Retreat in January, where you can meet Sue … and her Muse … in person!