Brendan Walsh ~ Go


Brendan Walsh

Brendan Walsh’s poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Off the Coast, Connecticut Review, Mason’s Road, Anak Sastra, Lines+Stars, Cobalt Review, and LONTAR. His first poetry collection, Make Anything Whole, was published by Five Oaks Press in 2015. He has lived in and fallen in love with South Korea and Laos, but he always manages to end up back in New England. Brendan has been a featured reader at The New American Writing Festival, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival’s Connecticut Young Poets Day, and the Poetry Institute New Haven. He received his MFA from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. When he is not training for amateur Strongman competitions or writing and reading poems, he is probably seeking the unknowable essence of humanity. He believes in poetry as a pure transfer of energy and emotion—something that should be celebrated publicly with intensity. His website is


"Part coming-of-age travelogue, part 'internalizing the great world,' and with an acute eye that sees other cultures through the ancient lenses of hope and desire, the poems in Brendan Walsh's Go are uniquely grounded in place (Laos, Korea, America, the heart...), people, and everyday speech. The self that travels and experiences, and returns to one's home expanded and transformed, then tells the stories that–– in Walsh's lively poems–– make us laugh, lament, and bear witness to our own failures and joys."

––Kenneth Hart, Uh Oh Time

Brendan Walsh’s Go is a playful collection of poems. It takes on, on many levels, the play of imagination and the play of possibility, and it explores the ways each enlarges and is enlarged by the other. The world in Go is itself large and enlarged. In the heat of Laos, “we melt / into other forms. / First we are sweat, then hot nights, / next, the air itself.” In Korea, when the cherry trees blossom, “April comes quickly / without shame, and envelops. / We forgot winter/ like a past lover who once / formed the only shape / our words could make.” And back in the United States, flying down the interstate on a drive-all-night roadtrip, our world traveler considers how any drive may continue into “All that untouchable horizon. / Nothing to grasp but what passes us by.” Go is an energetic and wise first collection, and its travels continue well past the final page. 

—Jeff Mock, Ruthless

The proem's last line--"I say Go."--frees the poet from the scripted life-as-movie to life on the go. Through many journeys, through lands exotic and familiar, bars and boudoirs, rituals of sustenance and sacrament, cities and rice paddies and mountains and monasteries and airports and shacks that Go traverses, many lives pass through Brendan Walsh's poems, and through them, speak. Uncanny, Walsh's ability to host his Laotian and Korean and American selves--see the Eun-Yung and Mr. Shin poems especially--through the correspondences of art that let him say, "I can't/say you are part of me more than any bird or plane/is part sky." Reader, don't take my word; take the book. I say Go. 

—Robert Bensen, Orenoque, Wetumka, and Other Poems

In this full-length collection, Go, Brendan Walsh wins us the way Buddhist temples win over acolytes: with their truths about suffering, the community of prayer halls, sacred reliquaries that follow the emptiness of courtyards. This poetry grounded in the experience of place becomes animate, takes form, gathers Laos, Korea, and the U.S. in its hot dance, a globe spinning to the rhythm of the eternal divinity in each of us. The sacred mathematical formulae of Walsh’s poetry are the coordinates of the line between sin and salvation: what he crafts elevates our thoughts because it is deliciously carnal: “Changwon’s lovers are out today,/arm-body enmeshed, lying beneath/cherry trees, pink petals/spread wide and wider with warmer/weather. The earth gushes,/rain-heavy.” By taking us on the road with him, we learn that the body that travels is the body that finds its home in the world. In Go, Walsh teaches us not to be afraid of change, or of being alone; he makes it possible for us to pick up and start over again, every chance a fresh chance, like a new life waiting to be lived.

—Lynn Marie Houston, The Clever Dream of Man

Size: 6" x 9"
Number of Pages: 103
ISBN: 9780692595053
Publication Date: January 7, 2016

$17.00 plus shipping to U.S.only