Terence Winch's new book, Lit from Below, is now available from Salmon Poetry, one of Ireland's leading presses.
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.
Co-founded by Terence Winch, Celtic Thunder played its first gig in May of 1977 at the Harp Pub in Baltimore, and went on to become one of the most influential traditional music groups in the U.S. Called "a great Irish band" by the Village Voice and "one of the best Irish folk acts in America" by The Washington Post, Celtic Thunder has released three albums over the years. The band's second CD, The Light of Other Days, won the prestigious INDIE award for Best Celtic Album. In addition to touring Ireland and playing innumerable concerts, ceilis, and pubs in the U.S., Celtic Thunder also performed at the White House twice during the Clinton administration.
Under no circumstances should the real Celtic Thunder be confused with the PBS t.v. production (and related CDs) that started in 2008, which features a variety of commercial Irish and non-Irish material sung by an assortment of male vocalists and others, collectively calling itself "Celtic Thunder."
Celtic Thunder's three albums are generally available through Amazon and other on-line sources. A compilation of Terry Winch's compositions, featuring many of Celtic Thunder's best-known songs and tunes, is now out. See below for information on ordering the recording, called When New York Was Irish. Meanwhile, a website with information on the recordings and performances of the original Celtic Thunder is now up and running.
Read Laura Orem's post on the sold-out Celtic Thunder concert on 3/16/12 at Baltimore's Patterson Theater.
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.
When New York Was Irish: Songs & Tunes by Terence Winch, Featuring Celtic Thunder & Narrowbacks. The album's 16 tracks showcase Terry Winch's best-known compositions, including "When New York Was Irish," "In Praise of the City of Baltimore," "Hooley with the Herd," "The Best Years of Our Lives," "Saints," and several pieces that have never appeared before on a recording, including "The Irish Riviera." The CD is now available from Trade Root Music Group, an excellent distributor of traditional music. See their listing for When New York Was Irish.
"Terence Winch is known as a poet and fiction writer, and has penned a bonafide folk hit with When New York Was Irish, the eponymous title track of this album.... The song reminds us that scholars looking for Irish music were searching the wrong places....Winch captures the vibe of Irish-American life in the latter quarter of the 20th century: its jigs, reels, barn dance tunes, stories, and rhythms."
---R. Weir, Sing Out!
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.
Terence Winch's That Special Place: New World Irish Stories is an acclaimed collection of non-fiction stories about Irish music and the musicians who make it, published by Hanging Loose Press.
About That Special Place: New World Irish Stories
- "You can see the sights, taste the air, hear the sounds, and smell the atmosphere (no matter how smoky and boozy) in all his stories. A delightful read!" ---Dirty Linen magazine
- "In That Special Place, Terry Winch reminds us again that he is the voice of Irish America." ---George O'Brien
- "Terence Winch's work is a joy to read. ...He brings a fiction writer's eye for epiphany to his nonfictional storytelling.... Winch's book is full of the soul's stories, and it will occupy that special place in readers' own memories." ---Earle Hitchner, The Irish Echo
- "The narratives...focus on the wild, the profane, and the often simply crazy world of the itinerant performer and are often hilarious. That Special Place represents...a vital contribution to Irish American writing."
---Eamonn Wall, The Irish Literary Supplement
- "A small but powerful collection of stories and lyrics.... The author's compassion for all his characters shines..., as well as his ability to observe and unthread the smallest nuance of human word, emotion, or behavior. Perhaps it's his musician's ability to tie the strings of life together without missing a beat." ---Kathleen Cain, The Bloomsbury Review
- "In a world of bad writing, I open The Crab Orchard Review and find your wonderful, startling prose. What joy it gave me to read those three stories [later included in That Special Place]. The day will be good because of reading them. I will search out and praise my own Celtic roots and believe that literature is possible."---Ellen Gilchrist [personal letter, 1996]
front: Terry Winch, Brendan Mulvihill, Jesse Winch; back: Linda Hickman, Eileen (Korn) Estes
Visit the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, Maryland, every Monday night to hear great music (in an informal, session-like setting) from a number of the Washington area's best traditional musicians, including Jesse Winch, Tina Eck, and Mitch Fanning, with occasional guests, including Terence Winch and Brendan Mulvihill. From about 7 pm until 10 pm. See the Irish Inn's site for details.
Terence Winch will be reading on Wednesday, 26 June 2013, at 7 pm with Karren Alenier at the Kensington Row Bookshop, 3786 Howard Ave., Kensington, Maryland 20895. 301-949-9416. See the shop's site for more information.
Not long before he passed away, Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes, was interviewed by Terence Winch for the cable t.v. show The Writing Life. Go to this edition of the show for the interview.
Terence Winch served as poet-in-residence in 2009-10 for the high schools of Howard County, Maryland, visiting each school (as well as Howard County Community College) to talk with students about poetry, read his work, and introduce them to the work of other writers. For an excellent story on his high school visits, go to the website of The Baltimore Sun.
Several new poems by Terence Winch can be found in the new issue of The Innisfree Poetry Journal.
Two new poems by Terence Winch, "The Platitudes" and "Landscape with Rain and Glass," both originally published in Conduit, are featured on the Verse Daily site.
Three new poems by TW appear in the excellent new online literary journal BODY.
In "Capital Verse and Capitol Music of Terence Winch," Earle Hitchner, columnist for America's leading Irish newspaper, The Irish Echo, focuses on TW's writing and music in his essay for the Feb. 9, 2011 edition. Go to the Irish Echo to read the text of this excellent piece.
Thanks to Steve Kowit, Serving House Journal has reprinted some of Terence Winch's poems. Go to SHJ's site to read the poems.
Terence Winch's poem, "Objects of Spiritual Significance," which first appeared in The New York Quarterly, was been chosen by Amy Gerstler for inclusion in Best American Poetry 2010, now available in bookstores & online.
The PIP (Project for Innovative Poetry) has chosen Terence Winch as a Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English. Visit the PIP site to see the entry on the award.
Terence Winch is now a regular contributor to the Best American Poetry blog--- Check out the BAP blog for his posts about Ted Berrigan, Daniel Cassidy, Eileen Myles, Geoff Young, The Fast Flying Vestibule (the old-timey band TW was part of in the 1970s), Mike Tyson and Oscar Wilde, Ray DiPalma,the poetry of Irish tune titles, Michael Lally, the memorial service for David Franks, the great blizzards of 2010, St. Patrick, the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, David Lehman's book on Jewish composers and Mick Moloney's CD of Irish-Jewish collaborations, actor Michael O'Keefe's poetry, Sherman Alexie, the work of Indian poet Diane Burns, Tim Dlugos, Liam Rector, Elizabeth Sewell, Doug Lang, et al.
On his influential blog, Mark Wallace provides a generous introduction to Terence Winch's work. Go to Mark's blog for the full text.
The Innisfree Poetry Journal's inaugural installment of a feature called "A Closer Look," which focuses on the work of one writer, offers a selection of work by Terence Winch. See the Innisfree site.
See Michael Lally's inimitable blog for his generous remarks on Terence Winch's songs: Lally's Alley.