The Essential Walt McDonald
Published by: Texas Tech University Press
Imprint: Texas Tech University Press
Sales Date: July 2022
608 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: July 2022
The life and work of poet Walt McDonald contains multitudes. A fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran who came to poetry late, Walt went on to publish over 2,000 poems in his career. His voice appealed to all kinds of readers. His poems appeared in journals ranging from First Things to The Nation, from JAMA to The Atlantic Monthly. He published over twenty books of poetry and served as the poet laureate of Texas.
Turning on candid observation, quietly resonant sound, and a present narrative sensibility, Walt’s poems move from a cockpit over Vietnam to the big West Texas emptiness and the Rocky Mountains.
Beginning in 2019, Walt sat with his prolific collection of poetry and began selecting his favorite works, grouping them together in four distinct movements. The results are before you here in this comprehensive collection of a lifetime’s effort. The Essential Walt McDonald is a must-have poetic opus, shaped by a giant of the Texas community of letters.
"Walt McDonald has paid tribute to us, to poetry, to the human experience. With empathy and generosity, this poet has lived and listened. He’s looked hard at things we might never have seen had he not done so. To read this poetry is to understand what a life lived with such openness and attention might offer the poet himself, and also what it might cost, and what his willingness to pursue such a vision offers the rest of us and will go on offering his readers for generations to come." --Laura Kasischke, from the foreword