Donald Wellman

poet, editor, translator

Essay Poems, now available

December 9, 2017 by Posted in: PoetryUncategorized



Essay Poems is Donald Wellman’s most ambitious volume of poetry to date.

The verses absorb everything including several languages besides English

(Spanish, Latin, German, French). His poetry evokes the universe seen from

the all-encompassing point of view of Borges’ Aleph. The center slips away.

There is no sense of personal identity. But someone emerges, with a liquid

body. Information, quotations agglomerate and turn around in a dancing vortex

propelled by a horror vacui. Allusions dart in every direction as the richness

of the text overwhelms the reader. – ROBERTO ECHAVARREN


Wellman is a wanderer, a wonderer, and well of knowledge, too. Probing,

disturbing, disorienting, and melancholic, these are erudite and emotional

essay-poem-collages. They loop and spin the reader in multiple directions

from the mucilaginous body to fishing with handline and hook, or searching

for a whisk in a Chinese store, a storm of stars, the throes of love, the self is

felt, reflected, distorted, and imagined. – ROS ZIMMERMANN


These serial poems point the reader toward unexpected affinities between text

and text, event and consequence, thought and being. Wellman’s enormous erudition

penetrates into the essence of what matters in life and in the life of the

mind. In the hands of a lesser poet, such an ambitious sweep would be doomed

to fail: Wellman triumphs. – CHRISTOPHER SAWYER-LAUCANNO


Wellman’s methodical chora, offering a unique philosophical-spiritual and

literary approach, is a marvelously intelligent translation “of false / and fictionalized

confessions,” beautifully wrought and suffused with a rueful gaiety

that will break your heart. “A passageway to a parallel world,” everything

one might fear and desire: dick, Zyklon B, resemblances, contiguities, and

causations “between thought and prayer” can be found herein, one of the

most compelling books you will ever read. – ANDREW LEVY


A finely crafted, bawdy, beautiful, heartrending and hilarious testament to

the poetic vocation. Who would have suspected that the dick–not the Lacanian

phallus but the humble dick, pink and shriveled, “wrapped in folds of

uncertainty,” that “moldy wad… wound with red rubber bands”–could be the

anchoring point of an elegiac mode? Only a poet of Wellman’s craft and erudition,

that ring in every phrase and every line. – BILL LAVENDER


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