Welkin cover photo
Aaron McCollough author photo
  • Series: Sawtooth 2002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-916272-72-2
  • ISBN-10: 0-916272-72-9
  • Pages: 118
  • Size: 0.3125 x 6.0 x 8.0 in
  • Price: $14.95


Aaron McCollough

Winner of the 2002 Sawtooth Poetry Prize

A curious hybrid of tradition and innovation, Aaron McCollough’s debut collection offers an array of almost echolalic sonnets, pantoums, rondeaus, free-verse lyrics, and open-field compositions. The formal maneuvers participate in the book’s concern with excavating meaningful, viable varieties of spiritual and social experience in an individualized, relativistic universe. The speaker in Welkin is at once thrilled and terrified to be “blessed / with this. Much light. In this. Much time.” Every moment in this remarkable book is taken up with lapidary attention and put aside with a mixture of anticipation and remorse. Brenda Hillman selected this book as winner of the inaugural Sawtooth Poetry Prize.

“Aaron McCollough has reclaimed (that is, radically reclaimed) a certain ancientness of praise and quiest, credence and address, for our fractured present. The resulting poems resonate with a singular music, urgency, and substance. In short, Welkin is both an inventive and immediately rewarding collection, and one rich with promise.” —Michael Palmer

Eros, Ethos, Economuos


The air is good in here
we say of the pine tree


and breaking twigs to move
the soul with what we have


to stick against the fact
of empty sky.


Just look! Cardinals
have nested here since fall


as we have come to rest
and raise our young


in a dangerous
and tangible wilderness.


Secrets inside we can’t
quite name. Hopes. Shapely wants.


The silhouette of cones,
which don’t resemble cones


in silhouette but trees
upended. Dear, we lease


the stem alive and smooth,
though tearing the bark off—


the wet, green, denuded
careen of this not ours


to love.


Copyright © 2002 by Aaron McCollough

"McCollough's Welkin, a revival of those energies which flow between the gorgeous happenstance of Earth and the serene mandates of Heaven. These are poems of a powerfully expressed vertu. These are flowers that know the secrets of their names." —Donald Revell

Aaron McCollough author photoAaron McCollough was raised in Tennessee. He holds degrees from the University of the South, North Carolina State University, and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is Suzanne Chapman's husband. Together they inhabit rooms in Ann Arbor, Michigan.