@ The Writer's Almanac
Walsh and Miller Williams at Williams’s home in Fayetteville,
AR, the day of Walsh’s scheduled poetry reading at
the Arkansas Festival of Authors,
April 20, 2010.
(click image to expand)
Poems by Michael Walsh
of the $5,000 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize
Poems about the world of a closeted young man and his surreal
with Lamda Literary
a way to initiate the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize,
a series honoring one of our best American poets, by introducing
an important new talent, Michael Walsh, a poet who concentrates
on meaningful particulars and who doesn’t try to dazzle
us with poetic footwork. These are poems about work and farm
life, the minutes and days and years, the harsh numbers mounting—about
strong, feeling people as they sense their way of life slipping
away, even as they struggle to maintain themselves and find
their own identity. Walsh has a fine eye, authority with our
precious words, and a deft hand with the music of our language.”
—Paul Zimmer, author of Crossing
to Sunlight Revisited: New and Selected Poems
“Walsh’s poems in this beautiful book present
us with particularized erotics of nature, in which the speaker
feels an electricity running through all living things. The
poems celebrate that force in a hushed, almost breathless
voice that nevertheless is as tough as the objects that it
locates and names. Who remembers nature without romantic distortion?
Well, Walsh does, on this farm, with these people and animals,
and their work, and their loves, in abundance.”
—Charles Baxter, author of The
Feast of Love
“Walsh has trained his keen eye on the hardscrabble
family farm of the Midwest to give us a powerful American
elegy. . . . These fierce lyrics burn away the fat of nostalgia
and evoke a lost way of life that was beloved but also bruising.
The poems form an enthralling plot, moving deftly from a boyhood
on the farm to the urban life of adulthood with its city gardens,
love, passion, and memory. The result is a book that establishes
both a world and a voice. A magnificent debut.”
—Patricia Hampl, author of The
first collection and winner of the inaugural $5,000
Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize is literally rooted
in the earth and in the world of animal husbandry.
You can taste these poems about life on a family dairy farm
in your mouth. In these
lyrical poems we meet a closeted young man, his parents, their
herd, and the other flora, fauna, and objects that populate
his surreal garden.
is the author of a chapbook, Adam Walking the Garden.
He is a recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship
and a residency at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary
Studies. A graduate of Knox College and the University of
Minnesota (MFA), he works as a course coordinator in the English
Department at the University of Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. This is his first book.
5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 92 pages