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Walking Papers


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The new collection from the author of The Undertaking

About the Author

Thomas Lynch's poems, essays and stories have appeared in The Atlantic and Granta, Harper's and the Times (of London, New York, Ireland and L.A.) and elsewhere. He has published four poetry collections and a collection of stories, Apparition & Other Late Fictions (published by Jonathan Cape), as well as works of non-fiction, including The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade. He lives in Milford, Michigan and in Moveen, West Clare.


In colloquial language, undertaker Lynch (Apparition & Late Fictions) examines the subjects that define our humanity: mortality, religion, love, family, and friendship. In a series of poems (e.g., "Dear Mr. President," "Dear Messrs Attorneys General"), he uses humor and animal allegories to question some of our former leaders. But most often these poems dwell on the everyday. Although frequently light in tone, they are at their core deadly serious. Lynch reminds us to remember and enjoy "these long contemplations at the fire, cats/ curling at the door, the dog's lame waltzing." Several pay homage to other poets, particularly Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams. But mortality is Lynch's core focus: he describes the heart "between swoon and sure damage, rapture and doom." A series of poems focuses on country life in Ireland including one about a lovers' leap in Loop Head: "in every leap some landing and some fall;/ the seed, the stone; in every start an end." VERDICT These easily understandable poems have philosophical underpinnings. They celebrate life, love, death, and literature. People who enjoy the work of Wendell Berry and Maxine Kumin will find a kindred spirit here.-Doris Lynch, Monroe Cty. P.L., Bloomington, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

An artist of great gifts, musically elevating and directing the speaking voice towards a startling power, moving through the accumulation of detail to give a visionary account of the ordinary life, doing justice to its terror and comedy. If it remains the poet's task to say things on behalf of everybody, Lynch shows how it should be done -- Sean O'Brien
A poet of great gifts, a humorous visionary * Guardian *
Like his admired Theodore Roethke, Lynch hails from Michigan - and like Roethke he can fashion long, singing lines unafraid of the old, elemental resonances of stars, roses, angels and the Latin mysteries of his Catholic childhood * Observer *
Tragic, cryptic, compassionate and amusing, Lynch's poetry moves in a superb rhythm through the commonplace and the extraordinary * GQ *
A fine and accomplished poet * Financial Times *

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