Walking Papers

Walking Papers | poems

(W.W. Norton, February 2010)

Indiebound or Powells or Barnes & Noble  or Amazon

In his fourth collection of poems, Thomas Lynch attends to flora, fauna, and fellow pilgrims: dead poets and living masters, a former president and his factotums, a sin-eater and inseminator. Faux-bardic and mock-epic, deft at lament and lampoon, fete and feint, Lynch’s poems are powerful medicines, tonics for the long haul and home-going.

A decade’s worth of poems by one of our most reliable witnesses, National Book Award finalist Thomas Lynch.  From “Walking Papers”

You can think of it as punctuation
and maybe take some comfort from that, friend—
a question mark or exclamation point—
no matter, we’re all sentenced to an end,
the movers and the shakers, bon vivants,
all ne’er-do-wells and nincompoops, savants,
sage and sluggard, deft and daft alike:
everyone’s given their walking papers


Keith Taylor in The Ann Arbor Observer

"Always a poet to celebrate the little pleasures, he has learned a kind of gratitude for them, a humility before the smallest gifts."

John Burnside in The Scotsman

"Walking Papers is a wonderful new collection from Thomas Lynch, one of the most humane and necessary poets working today. If Lynch was on Mastermind, his specialist subject would be...

Brian Doyle in The Christian Century

"Lynch is almost a stealth poet. His lines are so seemingly easy and effortless that you hardly notice the quiet craft as he just bubbles along telling a tale."

Domenica Trevor in Ann Arbor Chronicle

"Lynch is a writer who chooses to call things by their proper names. Death is death. An ass is an ass. Love is bliss, except when it is something else...

Sean O’Brien in The Guardian (UK)

"The elegiac elements of Walking Papers are interleaved with some striking public poems on the Iraq war and the problems of ensuring good government. Lynch's poetry usually operates at the...

Mary Plummer, New York Times

“A pilgrimage of sorts through growing old and facing death—subjects that caregivers know all too well. [Lynch’s] upfront, unvarnished style is likely to resonate with many who have come face to...