Gabriel Welsch

Gabriel Welsch (Poetry) |  Pittsburgh, PA

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Gabriel Welsch writes fiction and poetry, and is the author of four collection of poems: The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse (Steel Toe Books, 2013); The Death of Flying Things (Word Tech Editions, 2012); An Eye Fluent in Gray (chapbook, Seven Kitchens Press, 2010); and Dirt and All Its Dense Labor (Word Tech Editions, 2006). His work has appeared in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Verse Daily, and recently in Ploughshares, Lake Effect, trampset, Pembroke Magazine, Cleaver, and Pithead Chapel. His story, “Groundscratchers,” originally published in The Southern Review, was named a Distinguished Story of 2011 in the 2012 edition of The Best American Short Stories. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his family, and works as vice president of marketing and communications at Duquesne University.


The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse (Steel Toe Books, 2013). Poetry.
The Death of Flying Things, poems, (WordTech Editions, 2012). Poetry.
Dirt and All Its Dense Labor (WordTech Editions, 2006). Poetry.


  • An Eye Fluent in Gray (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“Gabriel Welsch’s remarkable third collection boisterously offers up a wonderfully imaginative romp through the wilds of pop-culture and various amusing suburban conflicts. These poems are at once hilarious and tender in their resolve to praise the very pulse of a busy life-even if we face the knowledge that ‘loss fires the blood/ loss starts the day, blood fired is the day.’ In poem after poem, Welsch displays a rare understanding of what it means to reward the reader by uncovering wild, brave, and beautiful truths about the human condition.”
—Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Lucky Fish

The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse reminds us that even minor, petty players can arrive at shattering truths. These poems experiment with form and voice. They present humor and pathos in equal measure . . . Most importantly, however, those moments of utter truth creep into the characters’ lives. ‘You just never know what to say to your own story,’ the telemarketer tells Granola Jones. She may be right, but fortunately these horsepersons have plenty to say about each other’s, and, perhaps about ours.”
—Abigail Cloud, in Mid-American Review

Like Swedish botanist Linnaeus, who makes several appearances here, Gabriel Welsch observes and listens for “the minute stutter of biology,” fashioning with a joyful lyricism “stories/that mortar the edges.” Welsch attends equally to the demotic—”the coiled hose, //the mailbox flag, the forsythia clutched in English ivy”—and the speculative “high-ribbed leaves of heaven.” Speaking as brother, citizen, father, and gardener, Welsch’s narrators deploy a range of prosodic techniques in original meditations on community, family, place. Superb homages to Bishop, O’Hara, and Merwin establish a lineage for this poet whose craft and erudition earn him a place among our most gifted newcomers.
—Robin Becker, author of The Horse Fair

“At the heart of Gabriel Welsch’s marvelous debut collection is earth’s urgent command—as Rilke puts it—for transformation. To the wondrous and fearsome cycles of bud, blossom, and decay, Welsch brings to bear not just his horticulturists’s eye for lavish beauty but also a scientist’s precision for uncovering what moves darkly beneath the surface of things. Reading these poems is to experience how language in the hands of a masterful poet can find root and tendril itself into art: ‘In this way, / syllables blossom, the names lose / their context of weeds, keep the color / slipped from the sun.'”
—Richard Foerster, author of The Burning of Troy

“I first read Gabriel Welsch’s poems when I was a guest editor for West Branch and a handful of his poems came across the transom. They immediately distinguished themselves for their making new age-old themes and for their evocative language. Both of these are everywhere on display in this, his second full-length collection. The poems return again and again to the natural world and reveal how it instructs us in silence, patience, and humility—and how it gives us ways to approach life’s riddles, among them faith, love, and death. The particulars of the land the poet’s eye rests on are rendered in diction that is precise and as exquisite to the ear as it is to the mind. There are echoes of other great lyric poets throughout this collection—Stevens, Dickenson, even Frost—but the music Welsch makes is all his own. The Death of Flying Things is a song to the place we inhabit, physically and spiritually, which also comes to inhabit us, ‘this place…that reinvents darkness every night.'”
—Shara McCallum, author most recently of This Strange Land

“Gabriel Welsch’s The Death of Flying Things isn’t comprised of elegies so much as love poems written to the long-suffering earth and for those who live on it, ‘the sky shattered under the burden of expectation,’ as one poem puts it. His poems comprise a complex vision, one up to the task of both recognizing the threat in how ‘what is left in the breeze / foretells ash,’ and still speaking, with assurance, of loving the magic of how ‘the hornets return / to the rusted lantern / bees to the blue mist to drowse /away the cool nights.’ These are poems enthralled with words and how they can love the world, from a poet who remembers ‘everything sacred comes from the body.'”
—George Looney, author most recently of Monks Beginning to Waltz

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