This Way Out (2014, Hanging Loose Press)
From the back cover:
Terence Winch's poems are imaginative, soulful and funny. He writes half way between the everyday and the conjured---his poems often feel like walking into a room made out of the sky. These new poems seem less tethered to reality yet more appreciative of the actual things the world has to give…and take away. This Way Out gives us Terence Winch at the top of his game.
In This Way Out, Terence Winch plumbs mysteries that range from the everyday ("Two Girls," teenagers shinnying down the roof next door) to the enduring ("X-Man," for an illiterate grandfather he never knew), always with an edge of laughter and the call for a stiffer drink. Though Winch has an ear for rhyme, he wears tradition lightly in "Classical Instructions" and "Romantic Poem," before offering a tour de force, "Nightingale, Wish Me Luck," which manipulates the end-rhymes of John Keats himself. Perceptive and subversive, this book has rhetorical marrow, that rich weird greatness at its core. These are the poems you read to your friend at two in the morning.
To order This Way Out, click on CONTACT.
Lit from Below (2013, Salmon Poetry, county Clare, Ireland)
From the back cover:
In these delightful foreshortened sonnets, Terence Winch makes poems that leak with lucent dreams, dissolving midsentence into reversals, somersaults, and whimsy: counterfactuals that are as solid as the band that is your mind playing favorite songs in an old movie. "The crowd exploded. The room cheered." And now back to the poems, already in progress. . .
The writing of the poems in Lit from Below began in the early '90s when Ray DiPalma invited Terence Winch to contribute a chapbook to a series DiPalma was then publishing. Winch wrote ten ten-line poems for the chapbook, liked writing them, and kept at it long after the publication came out. Since then many of the subsequent poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals. These poems, which are unlike most of Winch's work, became an on-going writing project that, he says, "felt more like play to me than work, but I've always believed that creativity and play are symbiotic."
The poems started out with a distinct Language-poetry feel to them. Winch used them initially to play with referentiality, linearity, etc. But over the course of time, they became somewhat less "experimental," for want of a better term. Winch says that "the confines of a ten-line block make the poems feel like little word-houses in which many different approaches---from narrative, to surreal, to autotelic---may reside. The structure also encouraged a definite economy, terseness, which I think makes them compact and faster than my four-door, luxury model poems."
To order Lit from Below, click on CONTACT.
Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor (2011, Hanging Loose Press)
From the back cover:
Whether they arise from the actual or the conceptual, Terence Winch's poems are plugged directly into real experience, and they convey the quiet authority of what is true. He writes with a sure hand and fine sense of the playful slipperiness of language. ---Billy Collins
The title of Terence Winch's newest collection says it all: the wonderfully droll, self-deprecating, hard-hitting and deliciously comic narrator of these poems knows only too well what life exacts from us. A trivial event like losing one's watch and replacing it brings on the rueful recognition that "it ran so fast, / I had to live every day / as if it were tomorrow." It's a dilemma we all face. No rest for the weary! In a sequence of dazzling and poignant memory poems about love and death, friendship and family trauma, Winch once again displays his uncanny ability to take the most ordinary of incidents and endow them with radiance. One reads Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor with a steady shock of recognition. Here WE are! ---Marjorie Perloff
Part satyr, part fierce angel, Winch manages a voice so full of tenderness and delicious drollery that you know you'd be lucky to spend time with this guy in a pub. They say we like other people who make us feel good, who make us laugh, and these are poems that aim to provide the kind of deep enjoyment and entertainment we need. They aim to, and they do: the voice of these poems moves seamlessly through free verse and traditional forms (villanelles and a sestina, even), through the dream-life's nightmares and the real world of public transit, through memory and tomfoolery, wit and despair; the virtue these poems always embrace, however, is camaraderie. You can imagine Whitman enjoying these poems, just as both Billy Collins and Marjorie Perloff have said they do. ---David McAleavey (in an Amazon review)
Terence Winch is a notable American poet. His latest collection, Falling Out of Bed in a Room With No Floor, contains more of his charming, oddball, wonderfully readable poetry. Published by Hanging Loose Press, it's a must read! ---Steve Kowit (in Serving House Journal)
Read David Lehman's piece on the new book at The Best American Poetry blog.
Check out Bill Nevins's review in Albuqueque's IQ Local.
For Earle Hitchner's essay on the book, "Poet Terence Winch Pours a Potent 'Fifth'"---go to the Irish Echo [n.b.: end of piece is missing here].
See Michael Lally's post on Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor at Michael's blog, Lally's Alley.
Read Laura Orem's take in the Innisfree Poetry Journal.
To order Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor, click on CONTACT.
Boy Drinkers (2007, Hanging Loose Press---click & scroll down).
PUBLISHER'S PRESS RELEASE:
The latest work from this acclaimed poet, musician, and fiction writer reaches down to the roots of the contemporary Irish-American experience. In Boy Drinkers, Terence Winch---with singular poignancy, wit, and clarity---draws on his upbringing in the Bronx in the 1950s and '60s to bring to life an Irish Catholic world of guilt and choice, debt and legacy, and the betrayals of belief that shake the self to the core.
Winner of the American Book Award for his poetry collection Irish Musicians/American Friends and of the Columbia Book Award for The Great Indoors, and grant recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the Maryland State Arts Council, Terence Winch is recognized as a significant presence in the literary community. Winch---also known as a songwriter with his celebrated band, Celtic Thunder---has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" and numerous times on Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac."
Praise for Boy Drinkers:
Here is a new look at the Irish diaspora, where the sound of glasses clinking is as familiar as the smell of incense at a Catholic Mass, where Terence Winch prays, "If the spirit has its own life, let the noises /it makes be as silent as the multiplication / and subtraction of time, and not / the rattle of a cough in the dark." Boy Drinkers looks with sober eyes at the people, tragedies, and traditions that shaped any of us who grew up in a community where alcohol and God were equally able to bring us to our knees. With his musician's ear and Irishman's humor, Terence Winch pokes fun at the Holy, makes sacred the mundane, and redefines the meaning of "grace." ---Meg Kearney
Terry Winch writes the kind of poems that make you want to kick back and listen, and say to hell with what you were supposed to be doing. These vignettes of growing up Irish Catholic in New York City during the '50s and '60s evoke a world that seems long gone, in many ways with good reason. In a voice that manages to be understated, precise, and casual all at once, Winch exposes us to a set of characters struggling with a world that's changing too fast not only for them, but for anyone. These are poems you'll remember. Clear-eyed, unsentimental, and hilarious, they'll also break your heart. ---Mark Wallace
Reviews of Boy Drinkers
- "In Boy Drinkers, Terence Winch continues his compelling record of a time, a place, and a people.... The remarkable thing about Winch's Irish-American writing is that it is radically local and inductive in the sense that Charles Olson preached localism. ...An Irish-American classic." ---Jack Morgan, The Irish Literary Supplement
- "These witty, narrative poems are light, brave particles of truth." ---John Jacob, Rain Taxi
- "Vivid..., deft...,subtle, poignant---Few contemporary American poets have built with Winch's skill an entire book around the alienating desolation of a religious faith and working-class poverty." ---Bill Mohr, The New Review of Literature
- "Terence Winch is a poet and founding member of Celtic Thunder, the storied Irish music group. Boy Drinkers is his mesmerizing new collection of autobiographical poems about growing up Irish-American in the Bronx."---Dylan Foley, The Newark Star-Ledger
- "Winch's nostalgic new collection about growing up Irish Catholic in New York in the 1950s and 1960s...packs the undeniable punch of memories dragged up and pried away from whatever might have obscured them from view."
---Kevin Nance, Booklist
- "Winch seamlessly weaves comedy and tragedy, the personal or conversational and the highly lyrical.... What one discovers is a universality of feeling: the pleasure of being admitted to a world of strangers who speak your language."---Anna Ziegler, Smartish Pace magazine.
To order Boy Drinkers, click on CONTACT.
The Drift of Things
Publisher: The Figures Press (2001)
"The Drift of Things jumps with linguistic life, its mixed marriage of anecdote and epiphany full of surprises. Winch's serio-comic imagination renews the world with panache, letting ordinary matters take on a glow at once enigmatic and everyday. In this technically impressive collection, the poems offer a witty, intrepid, unsentimental response to pleasures of the flesh as well as to pain and soreness of spirit... Winch has a beautifully tuned ear, whether working in formal mode or in supple lines of free verse. In all their zany, plainspoken ways, these poems sing."
--- Eamon Grennan
"I wish I lived in the world Terence Winch inhabits. Something invisible and mythical ennobles every object he encounters. His poems are full of a carefree confidence that comes from being so good at what you do that you donâ€™t think twice about mixing elegies, villanelles, jokes, traditional rhymesâ€¦. Reading them is like traveling to an archaic but nearby realm, something like French-speaking Canada, but much, much funnier." --- Matthew Rohrer
"If there were a DC school of poetry, Terence Winch would be its Frank O'Hara. The music, humor, flat-out declarative, highly nuanced formal tone of TWâ€”too full of love to be ironicâ€”is propelled in light/dark metacognitive play by an urgent desire of the mind. Winch writes, 'Our inconceivable appointment with happiness is funny, not stupid./ It made the ancients famous and gave you perfect pitch./ It has given the nihilists nothing to worry about.' Fun, intense, and more than anyoneâ€”but Terence Winchâ€”can say." --- Joan Retallack
"'In this world we are mystified by experience,' writes Terry Winch in his latest book, The Drift of Things, and in this tough and funny collection of poems, the world comes on as baffling and reassuring at once, as the poet weaves past and future predicaments together to make a more active present. Winch alternates old-school form and linguistic legerdemain, not like a professional at all, but better---like a poet who recognizes that 'professionalism' actually downgrades poetry to the misery of a job. The Drift of Things is a curative for the malaise of full-time employment; a copy should be posted in every train car of the Metro system." ---review by Buck Downs in The Washington Review
(see GeoffreyYoung.com or Small Press Distribution)