Two Men Rowing Madly Toward Infinity
Poems by William Reichard
Broadstone Books 2016 Franklin, KY
"There's no sound but our breathing, and the oars as they stroke the water." Accept the offered craft of William Reichard's transport. Put your oar in with his erotic lyricism, his mouth to your ears. Two Men Rowing Madly Toward Infinity is a steady ride through the wonderous landscape of a Midwestern rural American childhood, a turn at the bend of Gravelly Run, a pass by Baudelairean gallows, and a final glide to "listen to the wind in the reeds along the lakeshore, how they lash the air, how they sing."
Scott Hightower, author of Self-evident and Natural Trouble
“So the world won’t lose them / I speak the names of those / I love aloud to the darkness. / Now they are safe.” These lines from William Reichard’s latest book, Two Men Rowing Madly Toward Infinity, express one of its recurring themes: the attempt of the poet to create something that time cannot destroy [or: the poet’s constant battle against time and oblivion]. In a book filled with doubles, doppelgangers, ghosts and echoes, everything that was is always happening now (or about to happen): “the atoms of all that’s / been / all that / is, / all that / will be / merge in the darkness.” Two Men Rowing is the testimony of a man who, from the very start, admits, “I know things change” and still goes on to describe the people and places he’s loved in such moving detail that we love them too.
Joyce Stuphen, author of Modern Love & Other Myths and Naming the Stars
As Breath in Winter
MIEL Books 2015 Ghent, Belgium
Reading William Reichard's sharp new poems asks us to peer through a device that focuses intensely to both expand and contract the way we see the world. At times the lens cracks to reveal the bifurcation of a life lived body and soul. What these poems don't split, they tangle, so beauty and pain feel honest together-beyond contradiction. These poems are truths.
author of Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems
"Underneath every thing, another thing" writes William Reichard in As Breath in Winter. These superbly resonant poems explore the evanescence of things and the revelation of what lies underneath. The poet confronts the paradox: "You cannot translate on object, not even one as light as a feather, into language." Throughout this collection, Reichard bravely struggles with what can and what, underneath that, cannot be named. Yet this volume is a triumph in what he ultimately succeeds in translating what he sees into language "beautiful as the sun, more complex than any other thing in this world.
author of Albedo
American Tensions provide a timely snapshot of our nation’s post-identity
literary landscape and the real uses and purposes we make out of writing and reading.
The writers featured in American Tensions are both established and emerging, some with many publications, some with only a few, but what binds them together is that they are embodiments of the legacy of that melting pot sales pitch. Their stories reflect that American identity may owe a great deal to the constant reminder that it is not an assimilated, uniform everyperson, but a 'messy, fractious web of cultures, myths, relationships, and races.'"
SF Books Examiner
“’The soul conspires at last,’ William Reichard writes, ‘to throw us into a world where we belong.’ But the home the poet finds, in mid-life, is no position of ease but instead a center for the search for what will suffice – a quest mirrored in the heroic life of the early twentieth-century painter, Marsden Hartley, who saw himself in the lineage of Walt Whitman and Hart Crane. Reichard’s homage to Hartley is a way, in these searching poems, to ‘stitch the broken world back together.’”
Mark Doty, author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems
Here William Reichard makes a splendid debut, with a volume of memories and predilections recounted in a voice always heartfelt, pensive, musical. Rare gift: he is interested in other people. The result is a poetry of generosity.
Wayne Koestenbaum, author of The Queen’s Throat
Bill Reichard belongs to the great American lyric tradition that includes Roethke and James Wright, though he writes with a contemporary edge all his own. I found An Alchemy in the Bones intensely moving from poem to poem, keen in its observations, brilliant in its language, and what is most exciting--utterly trustworthy in its emotional wisdom. “I’m making sense of the small things,” one of the gorgeous prose poems says disarmingly. But this collection marks a debut that is a very big deal indeed. Patricia Hampl, author of A Romantic Education
Sin Eater prepares for us a feast of words, lays it lovingly around the body of beliefs inhabitants of a contemporary world must mourn, and invites us to partake. Master of the terrifying understatement, Reichard gives us poems that walk us calmly toward the empty shell and demonstrate the utter pointlessness of imagining that paradise is anywhere but in the smallest details of the here and now.
Leslie Adrienne Miller, author of The Resurrection Trade and Y
William Reichard, Editor
New Village Press 2011 New York
The melting pot isn't an easy blend, as the boiling nature within it can prove quite nasty. "American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice" is a collection of fiction, poetry, essays, and much more from various authors who speak on the continued push forward as America tries to be that harmonious union of peoples up front, and the much darker conflict that lands underneath it all. Through literature and nonfiction, these writers provide many opinions and views to grant readers the many conflicting perspectives in our nation today. For those who want to gain a greater understanding in our nation's push for equality, "American Tensions" is a thoughtful and very highly recommended read.
Midwest Book Review
New Rivers Press 1999 Minneapolis, MN
“It’s about what can be bent,” William Reichard writes in a poem called “Bonsai.” These poems, too, are about the ways we’re bent by experience: by loss and by desire, by love and difficulty. William Reichard’s poems are beautifully open to the “bent” in all its senses: the not-straight, the damaged, the curves the world throws us. These delicately etched lyrics are attentive to what Reichard calls “the intricacy of emotion;” it doesn’t surprise, then, that this poet has a particular gift for the love poem, for the text of tenderness, the body’s “dazzling code.”
Mark Doty, author of Heaven’s Coast and My Alexandria
Mid-List Press 2004 Minneapolis, MN
Full of forgiveness and love, How To shows William Reichard
taking on the work of the long haul – seeing clearly and then painting, steadily painting, with all the luminous words he has at hand. I am thankful for this poet who arranges the universe and then, in moments of tenderest compassion, willingly lets it go. Mary Logue, author of Hand Work: Poems and Frozen Stiff
Mid-List Press 2007 Minneapolis, MN
This Brightness is as radiant as it is precise, rare not only in the generosity of its attentions, its resourcefulness in illuminating the strangely familiar, the domestic otherness of the near at hand, but also in its addiction to joy, even at its most heartbreaking, its affectionate take on a realm rendered with such economy, such grace, that it risks the most unabashed engagements without relaxing into the sentimental. However gripping or quiet the transformation, there is maturity of sensibility here, neither restrictive nor ostentatious, impoverished nor decadent, aloof nor brash. Such is the sureness of the poet’s imaginative care, his verbal reverence, the power of the personal clarified by modesty. A deeply restorative book.
Bruce Bond, author of Cinder
Mid-List Press 2010 Minneapolis, MN
Exquisitely tuned and deeply felt, William Reichard’s Sin Eater cambers gracefully. From a
gorgeous everydayness (“The curve of a crimson birch as it bends in the wind”), to desire for a seemingly ungraspable holiness (“It’s in the sky, the desperate divination of clouds,”) and reality expanded and woven with the metaphysical and erotic (“Having lost his spirit, given away / his flesh, what is left? Sometimes, / another man lives inside his body.”), the poems are deftly contoured by “the things that console us,” the “little lights / in the darkness, a map of stars / bright as god, blinding.” The swelling heart of these poems is musical and haunting: Love and loss, family, doubt and faith, childhood pain and regret. Sin Eater is a magnificent book. It will have you stretching your “hungry lips up to kiss / the drowsy old face of God.”
Alex Lemon, author of Happy: A Memoir and Fancy Beasts