Waterloo (Like This Press, 2012)
Some poets would bring off this sort of technical display in order to delight in their flight of theoretical fancy and rest the poem’s success on the virtuosity of their own performance. Welsch seems to be doing something very different. There’s a modesty to Waterloo that is almost self-effacing.
Welsch’s chosen form, five couplets with no line unrhymed, allows him to demonstrate an elegant and generally unobtrusive set of formal skills; the collaging in of newspaper clippings, photos and announcements supports the sense of getting to know the town well.
The meaning, and the good humor, carry over from one poem in the series to the next so that the relationship between the poems in the series is the macrocosm to the microcosm of the sentences that flow from line to line.
Orchestra & Chorus (Holdfire Press, 2012)
Welsch’s poems are something else, something which requires more work. Every poem leaves a haunted feeling like there’s something I’m missing, something I haven’t quite figured out yet that I don’t fully understand. This is poetry to chew on and savour slowly. I would recommend it to those who favour the experimental, but not extremely so…
Welsch assimilates and appropriates literary precursors with skill … The message is orchestra loud, and repeated in chorus across all 28 pages of this short, but rich, pamphlet: there can be no writing without reading. … [T]here is satisfaction to be had, but you’re going to have to work to get it.
Orchids (Salt Publishing, 2010)
Every so often a poetry collection comes along which is truly breath-taking. Having read and re-read Orchids many times now I can safely say that it is the product of a remarkable talent.
- Is Welsch really complaining that trees can’t write poetry? I think he must be on a completely different wavelength to me. I just don’t understand much of this collection. (Gill Andrews)
- I have to say, after at least three pretty close readings, there is not one poem in the collection whose choppy waters I have been able confidently to navigate, closely-packed as they are with foaming reefs of oblique and hermetic, personal, allusive and arcane references. (Ross Kightly)
- Welsch’s best poems don’t try to do too much. … He can be ambitious and carry it off. (Fiona Moore)