“I’ve read UNWINDING ALPHABETS: A BOOK OF CITATIONS and I think it is thrilling work. The methodology is superb but more than that these poems sing, vibrating along lyric strings of colloquy and antiphony. You’ve done something really fine here.” —Patrick Pritchett
Reading inspires writing. These poems employ stratospheric levels of quotation, imitation, and allusion so as to create a serial poem or indeed serial poems within a serial poem. The first series, “The Generosity of the Dead” is a close reading of the works of Lisa Robertson. Citations from her works supply the fabric for this series. Other poets are cited for the sake of the argument. The second series, “Alphabet Poems,” works with a letter or letters of the alphabet derived from the first names of a range of chosen poets. The selected allusions are often a product of whim. The result is not. Among the short sequences and individual poems that comprise the remainder of the work are two hybrid poems, one indebted to Hölderlin and the second based on the work of Ingeborg Bachmann, a poet who felt disabled by the horrors of life after World War II.
CITATIONS, at least as Don Wellman does them, are acts of ritual remembrance, the poet gathers the living and the dead through a discrete bibliomancy. Wellman gathers up his own life as well, through invoking the lives of others. All called into the fulfillment of the present by the spell of letters. These poems, thoughtful, moving, vivid, and musical, draw poetry from its deepest sources. They fill the air around the reading of them with personal warmth.” —Joseph Donahue
Donald Wellman has written nine books of English-language poetry. His most recent publications include CROSSING MEXICO: DIARIO MEXICANO (Dos Madres Press, 2019), ESSAY POEMS (Dos Madress Press, 2017), ALBIACH / CELAN : READING ACROSS LANGUAGES (Annex Press, 2017) with Anne-Marie Albiach and Jean Daive, ROMAN EXERCISES (Talisman House, Publishers, 2015), THE CRANBERRY ISLAND SERIES (Dos Madres Press, 2012), A NORTH ATLANTIC WALL (Dos Madres Press, 2010), and PROLOG PAGES (Ahadada Books, 2009). Additionally, he translates poetry from several languages: German, French, and Spanish. He is the English language translator of Antonio Gamoneda, Emilio Prados, and Roberto Echavarren. His recent translations include CADAVERS by Nestor Perlongher (Cardboard House Press, 2018), THE VIRGIN MOUNTAINS by Roberto Echavarren (Dialogos / Lavender Ink, 2017), Neila's Evening Song: Last Poems of Yvan Goll by Yvan Goll, and The Prose of the Transsiberian and Little Joan of France by Blaise Cendrars. His academic expertise is in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics. Research and scholarship have concentrated on the works of Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Charles Olson, as well as on figures associated with Black Mountain College and with emerging avant-gardes (conceptual poetry and language-centered poetry). Additionally, he has written on transnational literature, including the literature and culture of the Caribbean. His Expressivity in Modern Poetry is newly released from Fairleigh Dickinson UP, March 2019. He is the editor of O.ARS, 1981-1993, which has been released in the series "Among the Neighbors, The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries" at the University at Buffalo.Author City: WEARE, NH USA