Crossing Mexico: Diario Mexicano by Donald Wellman



  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 82
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: November, 2019
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-56-5


This is not the tradition of redemption by imposing oneself on the other; rather it is a writing through the manifold confusions of redemption. He discovers “new perceptions of his motives,” and so will readers visiting this book. —Aldon Nielson

The poems of Crossing Mexico interact with history, culture, and people the poet encounters in his journey, which in turn propel his imagination to make connections with his own life and history thus folding space and time into the language of the poem. These poems seek to penetrate the fabric of reality just as much as to open the reality of the poet himself. This is more than a book of journeys, this is a book of exchanges between the interiority of the individual and the exteriority of society, between Mexico and The United States, between images and language, between the present and history. —Antonio Ochoa

Don Wellman’s journey through Mexico follows a route through his own mirrors: a recognition that at the same time is an apprenticeship of the world that allows him to live more deeply in reality. A surprising text of a rare richness, Crossing Mexico has the qualities of a ceremonial object. —David Huerta


Kuanon of the Pyramid

Not her, but another. I saw briefly in the crowd.
She disappeared between the columns
of a market more ancient than Mérida.
Entered the cave
and swam in the cold well water.
She met me on the grassy lawn,
having traveled from China, her eyes
pearls of jade, merciful Kuanon,
helpful not judgmental.

On the paths between sacred sites
precisely where
flayed virgin remains
filled the cistern
were displays for pilgrims, abundant
masks and retablos, solar disks,
miniature pyramids of brilliant hues
in plastic and hand-carved forms.

Attention to detail
gives magical authority
to the object..
The carnival play of the vendors
who occupy winding paths
among monuments,
as integral to sacred space
as are the gothic athletes who ascend
the ninety stairs, their shapes ornamental
to the serrated edge of the temple.


Donald WellmanDonald Wellman has written nine books of English-language poetry. Additionally he translates poetry from several languages, German and French as well as Spanish. He is the English language translator of Antonio Gamoneda, Emilio Prados, and Roberto Echavarren. From German he has translated Yvan Goll’s Neila’s Evening Song: Last Poems of Yvan Goll; from French, Blaise Cendrars, The Prose of the Transsiberian and Little Joan of France. His academic expertise is in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics. Research and scholarship have concentrated on the works of Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Charles Olson, as well as on figures associated with Black Mountain College and with emerging avant-gardes (conceptual poetry and language-centered poetry). Additionally, he has written on transnational literature, including the literature and culture of the Caribbean. A study of translation practice, Albiach / Celan / Reading Across Languages is available from Annex, 2017. His Expressivity in Modern Poetry is newly released from Fairleigh Dickinson UP, March 2019. Editing O.ARS, 1981-1993 has been released in the series Among the Neighbors, The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo.

His books of poetry include Fields (1995), a selection of twenty years previous work. In addition to a range of lyrics, Fields addresses themes related to childhood and youth in New Hampshire and Maine. It includes a “libretto” dedicated to labor history during the period of industrialization and establishment of the mills. An ethnographic bent characterizes much of Wellman’s work, Baroque Threads and Prolog Pages were shaped from materials in the notebooks that were kept while living in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain. A North Atlantic Wall is drawn from pilgrimage experiences in Spain and Morocco, where he pursued portions of the Camino de Santiago and then continued to follow trails used by Albigensian refugees fleeing through the Pyrenees, at the conclusion of a 20-year crusade initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism. This soul journey concludes on the peaks of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The Cranberry Island Series, working with a close ethnographic focus, addresses the life of the rural poor in the Gulf of Maine. Essays are interleaved with a sampling of poetry dating from as early as the mid1970s, including poems of mourning for lost companions. Roman Exercises and Essay Poems were released in the last three years. These works are long serial poems, mixing prose and verse composition.

Wellman was born in Nashua, NH. He also identifies with Cranberry Island, Maine, his mother’s home. He graduated from Stuttgart American High School in Germany and the University of New Hampshire. After military service in Germany, he earned a Doctor of Arts from the University of Oregon. He now lives in Weare, New Hampshire. He has two loving and precocious children, each an accomplished scholar and creative talent. He has recently returned from residence in Madrid and visits to Istanbul and Morocco. His profile would seem to be that of a wanderer, but he identifies deeply with each of the places that have shaped his life.

Additional information

Weight 5.9 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in