- Kind: Perfectbound
- Pages: 118
- Language: English
- Published: December, 2012
- ISBN: 978-1-933675-87-9
“Donald Wellman proposes The Cranberry Island Series as a work of “autoethnography,” incorporating poetry, translation, autobiography, family history, and geography—all focused on the Cranberry Islands in the Gulf of Maine. Like a hardy tree stretching its roots into crannies of wind-swept stone, Wellman burrows into people and places of his locale and their effects upon his own life. The interweaving of his long family history—both its European and Native American strands—with the actual landscape of the islands and the waters around them produces a complex, compelling work that extends the method of Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems. Wellman’s insistence on the virtues of hybridity, impurity, and the vernacular contributes to the creation of a resilient template for the emergent identities of the twenty-first century.” —Stephen Fredman
Wellman is water man, water carrier, tender of the springs
Is he a half-man, healer that plays the water drum?
Does his mind keep time with the time kept by the ensemble?
He is a various man, rogue man. He who opens the moon-gate.
Tidal man, fish are his thoughts, for him fish are speech,
golden bream in the russet waters
of Piscataquog. He feels the tug of the current
on the line that he pays from the stern of the sky raft.
Salt spray in his beard, he knows the sweet water
that flows from underground springs
over the seawall of pebble and shell.
He seeks provisions for the homeward voyage,
his drum, his canoe.
Donald Wellman is a poet, editor, and translator. A long-time resident of Cranberry Island, he now lives in Weare, N.H. His poetry includes A North Atlantic Wall (Dos Madres, 2010) and Prolog Pages (Ahadada, 2009). Other titles include Urika (Boat Train in Gloucester, 2010), Baroque Threads (Mudlark, 2007) and Fields (Light and Dust, 1995). From 1981-1994, he edited O.ARS, a series of anthologies, devoted to topics bearing on postmodern poetics, including volumes entitled Coherence, Perception and Translations: Experiments in Reading. His translation of Antonio Gamoneda’s Gravestones is available from the University of New Orleans Press. His translation of Gamoneda’s Description of the Lie is forthcoming from Tallisman House Books. In addition to the poetry of Gamoneda (Cervantes Prize 2006), Wellman has published translations of the poetry of Emilio Prados, Blaise Cendrars and Yvan Goll. Originally trained as a medievalist, he has written on the poetry of Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson and poets associated with both Black Mountain College and emergent post-avant practices.