Terence Winch,
Irish Musicians/American Friends
(Coffee House Press, 1985)

Terence Winch is a second-generation Irish-American but maintains a love of Irish music and obviously has been infected by the Irish poetic soul. This collection of poems ranges from those about people he knew to experiences of playing music.

Titles like "On the Fire Escape Naked" give an indication of the glint in his eye as he writes of "Mrs Nally sold mass cards when someone died. ... Mrs Keenan needed two clothes lines because she had so many kids." "Fiddlers" is a short simple piece that gets its point across in a few lines.

Other titles on offer include "Forgotten Honeymoon," a poem almost like the "begats" in the Bible as it records the many marriages, and "The Psychiatrist's Office was Filled with Crazy People."

Like all poetry there will be favourites and others that fail to move you but might affect another. On balance I found more moving, interesting and dry humour offerings here than in many other such books.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

29 September 2007

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