Houseboat on the Ganges & A Room in
Kathmandu: Letters from India & Nepal
WINNER National Federation of Press Women Book Award 2020
A memoir of aerograms about the author's life roughing it on the back roads and pilgrimage trails in the himalayas during the post-beat countercultural sixties. Before the Internet, texting, cell phones and social media, the young artist immerses herself in Eastern spiritual and artistic traditions and chronicles encounters with yogis, artists, travelers and spiritual luminaries like Ram Dass and H.H. the Dalai Lama.
Milepost 27: New Poems
WINNER SOUTHWEST BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019
ffrom the juror:
These poems by artist and poet Marilyn Stablein take the reader on an unexpected journey. They’re set first in the Pacific Northwest (with a brief foray into Kashmir), then in New Mexican hot springs; and then—at the heart of the book—in arid New Mexico—the “Milepost 27” of the title. Early poems narrate or describe the concrete or natural: sea lions piling-on, wood ticks “vacuuming under the skin,” poet imagining porcupine love; saving soap ends. The playful quality of those initial poems retreats, though, in the New Mexico section, where Stablein describes the Rio Grande grinding “charnel ground,” being stranded on a desiccated Route 66, and pervading images of fire and ash. That section’s stunning “How to Build a Descanso” takes the reader’s breath away and throws a different-shaded light onto this memorable collection.
Vermin: A Traveler's Bestiary
The first bestiary devoted to the smallest, most unpopular critters. Humorous encounters on the back roads of Egypt, India, Nepal or the kitchen cupboards of small town America. Odd household tips from 19th century health manuals, arcane remedies, superstitions.
Marilyn Stablein is a wonderful writer who knows a vermin when she sees—or meets—one. If I were a Texan I’d say, “Read her book rat now!” — Barry Gifford
—Lice, leeches, roaches, and rats, what people call ‘vermin,’ are fascinating cultures with vivid life styles. Marilyn Stablein, their chronicler, is a non-judgemental and generous writer who watches these non-humans with serene detachment, humor, and uncanny empathy. —Andrei Codrescu
Climate of Extremes: Landscape and Imagination
A celebration of weather: gray mists in Seattle, a Texas hurricane, ice falls, tumbleweed windstorms, earthquakes. These personal essays written with the intensity of prose poetry, feature the author’s personal journey of cataclysm and terrain. Her premonitions of human caused climate change which devastated the forests in the Far West and other regions in 2020 are even more relevant now, twenty-five years after publication. From the preface: “The Far West is a region of intimidation. The potential for destruction both tempers and unnerves those who live there. The Oakland-Berkeley Hills firestorm came within a half mile of my house. . . . Weather is inseparable from the landscape it affects. There are landscapes of destruction, of earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes and blizzards; and interior landscapes, the climate of closed spaces, the weather of dreams, memory and imagination.”
-- Who needs Magic Realism when we have the weather? Stablein's essays can be read as climate-related precautionary tales...her "spare, ironic style makes the essays a pleasure to read.
Splitting Hard Ground
WINNER OF THE NEW MEXICO BOOK AWARD
Lines of stunning force...the simple pathos of these poems is overwhelming. Amid the travel journals and bric-a-brac of an adventurous and often painful life: deep memories; exquisite imagery and graceful music... SPLITTING HARD GROUND delights and saturates all our senses. Enthusiastically recommended.
Sleeping in Caves
In the heyday of the sixties the nineteen year old poet and artist travels overland to the Himalayas to study calligraphy and mandala painting with Tibetan masters, encountering a host of counterculture and spiritual luminaries including Ram Dass, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Yogi Chen, the Maharaja of Hardwar and Kalu Rinpoche.
Marilyn Stablein's wry voice tells how it was, clamly and clearly, unadorned...whether on the ground with sadhus and chapatis or in the sky with diamonds these wise prose poems evoke a last epiphany of the best of east and west." -- Keith Dowman
The Census Taker Traveler Tales
These pleasant reveries contain wry observations which color a person's life in a foreign culture. The witty brevity in which they are relayed marks the arrival of a fresh, surprising and unique voice in the American short story form.
The author's eye is open wide, and her writing is fresh, funny, and exhilarating.
The best, truest, and secretly truest writing ever done on life in Bharat (India).