Terence Winch


Terence Winch, originally from New York City, now lives in the Washington, DC, area. In the early '70s, he was one of DC's "Mass Transit" poets and was closely associated with the New York writers connected with the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in lower Manhattan. Winch, the son of Irish immigrants, has also been part of Irish-American cultural life, both as musician and writer. Some of his poetry and other writing takes its subject matter from his upbringing in a Bronx immigrant neighborhood.

His latest book, This Way Out (Hanging Loose Press, 2014), includes work of the last few years. In 2013, Salmon Poetry, based in county Clare, Ireland, published Lit from Below, a collection of 10-line poems that are more marked by the influence of Language poetry than any of Winch's other work. His 2011 collection, Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor, includes recent work along with some of Winch's best-known poems from earlier chapbooks, while Boy Drinkers is a series of mostly narrative poems that center around religion and Winch's New York brand of Irish-Catholicism. That Special Place: New World Irish Stories is a collection of non-fiction stories that come primarily out of his experiences playing traditional Irish music with Celtic Thunder, a band he started with his brother Jesse in 1977. Many of the songs he wrote for Celtic Thunder recount the story of New York's Irish community: with "When New York Was Irish," "Saints (Hard New York Days)," and "The Irish Riviera" the best-known of them. Celtic Thunder's second album, The Light of Other Days, won the prestigious INDIE award for Best Celtic Album in 1988, and in 1992 Irish America magazine named Winch one of "The Top 100 Irish Americans."

"We get this world from no other writer---this last glimpse of the culture of twentieth-century Irish immigrants in America as their first-generation American-born children witnessed it. ...The totality of his work makes for so compelling an Irish mural as to merit George O'Brien's judgment that Winch is 'the voice of Irish America.' There is in that voice traces of the tenacious love of life that...characterized Irish life prior to the famine---the elan that the world hears at the heart of Irish music." ---New World Irish: Notes on One Hundred Years of Lives and Letters in American Culture by Jack Morgan (Macmillan, 2011)

For more information on Terence Winch, please visit his official site.

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