Becoming Lyla Dore

by Teri Youmans Grimm



About the Poet

Teri Youmans Grimm is the author of Dirt Eaters, a collection of poems chosen for the University of Central Florida's Contemporary Poetry Series and was published by the University Press of Florida. She currently teaches in the low-res MFA program at the University of Nebraska. Her writing has also appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Indiana Review, Connecticut Review, South Dakota Review, Sugar House Review and Homegrown in Florida: An Anthology of Florida Childhoods, among other publications.

About the Album

Becoming Lyla Dore is a collection of poems in the voice of a fictional silent film star. Lyla was born Willie Sapp in Jacksonville, Florida, a city with a burgeoning movie industry in the early days of silent film. Most of the poems on this album are from Lyla's early life and transition to "Hollywoodland". While Lyla and her personal story are fictional, the poems strive toward authenticity in their use of historical details of the time period and the early days of silent film.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editors of the following publications, in which the following poems first appeared:

"Lyla Recalls That Summer" South Dakota Review

"I Wasn't Pregnant He Explained…" burntdistrict

"Photoplay Brains and Beauty Contest Photograph" Sugar House Review

"Refrain" Sugar House Review

"My Mother Tells Me I Was Conceived In Fire Before I Was Condemned By It." Sugar House Review

"This Is How It Ends" burntdistrict


Some details in "When Kalem Studios Came To Town" came from an article written by the silent film actress and screenwriter, Gene Gauntier for The Women's Home Companion and published in 1928.

"My Mother Tells Me I Was Conceived In Fire Before I Was Condemned By It" borrows details and phrases from Acres of Ashes by Benjamin Harrison published in 1901. This book provides an account of "The Great Fire of 1901" that destroyed 146 blocks in Jacksonville.

"The Devil's Passkey" is a lost film of Erich von Stroheim. The last known print reportedly disintegrated in 1941.

© By EAT for the author with the exception of the cover image.*

* The image of Maude Fealy used on the album cover is a press photograph from the George Grantham Bain collection, which was purchased by the Library of Congress in 1948. According to the library, there are no known restrictions on the use of these photos.


released December 1, 2012

Album Cover Design by Philip Hesslup and Bridgette Swing
EAT is produced and edited by Mark Ari


all rights reserved


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