Recording of Martín Espada Reading

Thanks to all who joined us for last week’s exhilarating reading by National Book Award winner, Martín Espada, at Simmons University’s Robert M. Gay Memorial Lecture. It was quite an event. Here’s a link to see it if you couldn’t make it last week.

Boston Globe Review: Changeable Gods

A book all about Cambridge, a Brookline Village bookstore closes, and a new poetry collection. By Nina MacLaughlin, Globe Correspondent, Updated April 28, 2022

Poetry that soars
Richard Wollman writes poems of the sky in his new collection, “Changeable Gods,” from Western Mass-based Slate Roof Press. Vast, varied, ever-shifting, creating its own world, our world: “The clouds are so far back, / the yellow ridges of the sky / so unreachable—” Wollman, a professor at Simmons, who lives in Amesbury, is deeply attuned to the colors, cloudscapes, streaks, and nightdomes. “Cerulean and nothing else, nothing / because the sea took everything.” But a force of presence in these lines is even more powerful than the sky: A woman named Sarah, to whom the book is dedicated, who died in 2007, thrums throughout. “Sarah was still alive. Gone a few weeks later. / No place before or since a home.” A depth of love and connection, and the gaping void of loss, is implicit, and perhaps, after such a love, and such a loss, perhaps it makes sense that Wollman’s attention is aimed at the sky—its endlessness the
only place vast enough to house the feeling of what’s gone.

Martín Espada Reads at Simmons University!

On behalf of the Department of Literature and Writing, I will be introducing the extraordinary Martín Espada when he reads from Floaters, winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Poetry, at our annual Robert M. Gay Memorial Lecture.   

Please join me for this special event.  To register (either in-person or online):

Changeable Gods is Out!

Changeable Gods is out! Thank you, Slate Roof Press, for making such a beautiful book. Winner of the Elyse Wolf Chapbook Prize, CG is in art-quality limited edition with a letter press cover, hand-sewn binding, original artwork by yours truly, and an introduction by Alfred Nicol. Dedicated to poet Sarah Hannah (1967-2007), who was the best pal anyone could have and whose spirit guides this sequence of love poems.

To order, please visit Slate Roof Press:

Changeable Gods Page Proofs!

Page Proofs! Changeable Gods is a sequence of poems dedicated to my dear friend, poet Sarah Hannah, who we all lost in 2007. You’ll find her in several of these pages. Slate Roof Press publishes limited edition, art-quality chapbooks designed by the poets and printed by member and master printer Ed Rayher. Thank you to the extraordinary members of SRP Press for selecting CG for the Elyse Wolf Prize and helping to bring it into the world. A link for pre-ordering coming soon….

New Sculpture!

“3 Trees in Maudslay Woods” (chiseled, burned, and painted on sweet crabapple trunk)

I completed this one just in time to use it as the title page for my new poetry collection–Changeable Gods–which will be out from Slate Roof Press in a couple of weeks. Link for ordering coming soon….

Poem for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Forsythia spills over fences
in Connecticut:
                                the rest remains bare.
Survivors light candles, sulphur
from the match curling
                              around their heads.
A cantor sings Kaddish as much for the living
                              as the dead.
We have put on our good clothes.
We have driven through the pleasant country
                              to take our seats on a stage.
I listen to the audience: am I someone
singing to himself
                              to make silence less?
Or rouse a voice where there is none,
and, nothing myself, resurrect
                               the living from the dead.

 (originally published in Notre Dame Review and included in my collection, Evidence of Things Seen)