Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Don Welch

THE ALLEY POEMS
THE BREEDER OF ARCHANGELS
GUTTER FLOWERS
INKLINGS
THE KEEPER OF MINIATURE DEER
TRAVELS




The Alley Poems
Copyright © 2002
by Don Welch
Lone Willow Press

These peoms exhibit that mastery that comes only when a poet has faithfully worked the same vein for many years ... — Roy Scheele



The Breeder of Archangels
Copyright © 1999
by Don Welch
Main-Travelled Roads/Sandhills P

As always in Welch's poetry is the marriage between the inner life of man and the outer life of the natural world. Welch refers to his poems as "animalizations" and what he is most concerned with are "the country things of Nebraska." In his best earlier work, The Keeper of Miniature Deer and Carved by Obadiah Verity, Welch seeks to not only find man's place in the world, but to explore as well his relationship with it and in it. ... Welch has said that "the older literary world often vied with contemporary subjects. I eventually married the two worlds in poems about animals, imaginary animals. Knowing about history has led me into bestiaries of all kinds, and knowing about living animals enables me to hold onto a realistic base." Welch has opened up some of the more interesting bestiaries of Nebraska poetry with his "animalizations." The Breeder of Arhcangels and A Requirem for Stanley Smith is guaranteed to stay, like Stanley Smith's smokeless shadow, on both your mind and your tongue. — Eric Hoffman, Nebraska Territory



Gutter Flowers
Copyright © 2005
by Don Welch
Logan House P

Don Welch moves among the poor like a modern day Whitman who has mastered the fine art of pruning. The poor, he says, "need the dump and truck of love / to walk on too." With a minimum of words he evokes a maximum of feelings and sympathies. The rest of us need the poet's words to bring us those places we have neither the time nor the courage to explore. — Bill Kloefkorn



Inklings
Copyright © 2001
by Don Welch
Sandhills P

This "selected poems" collects together, for the first time, his most essential and strongest work. Welch is one of the Great Plains' best word-crafters, careful and loving of language in the tradition of Wallace Stevens but, dirt mystic that he is, rooted to his world like Robert Frost. He is a poet whose work truly deserves national attention and praise. — from the jacket



The Keeper of Miniature Deer
Copyright © 1986
by Don Welch
Juniper P

I came to poetry late, in my early forties, and I began by writing about things I knew, the country things of Nebraska. Because I am a college professor of English, the older, literary world often vied with contemporary subjects. I eventually married the two worlds in poems about animals, imaginary animals. Knowing about history led me into bestiaries of all kinds, and knowing about living animals enabled me to hold onto a realistic base. These poems, which I call "animalizations," have preoccupied me for some time and probably will for two or three more years. They are one sign that I am writing about less regional subjects than in the past. — from the poet

From the first poem, "Carved By Obadiah Verity," to the final one, "The Barn Owl," the theme of family prevails; it is a strong power in almost every poem. It is movingly presaged in the “carving of decoys from heartwood" by Obadiah in "that place of/breed, and brood, and cross-hatching" and last until the closing poem when we hear "our mother's territorial voice/calling us from the backsteps." ... One feels in it a "vibfany" in the universe, particularized in the family, and revealed in the tgenderness of the keeper. — Anita Norman, Nebrsaka Library Association Quarterly, Summer 1986



Travels
Copyright © 2010
by Don Welch
Finishing Line Press

Don Welch is one of those many talented American poets who have never received as much attention as they deserve. His poems are distinguished by the meticulous care he puts into writing them, and by their deep intelligence. — Ted Kooser, United States Poet Laureate, 2004-2006

... Welch's work over the years has clearly achieved major importance. He has managed to render ... the true music of American speech, its rhythms, textures, and odd silences, as well as that beautiful blend of wonderment and wisdom fully in evidence in Travels. — BH Fairchild, National Book Critics Circle Award For Poetry, 2002


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