My story is a majestic narrative
that will force you to love me, people of our land.
I have been so long engaged in struggle and survival,
but now I am the author of my destiny.
My mythic history is now seen as the singular element
that breathes spirit and meaning into my extraordinary saga.
I have reclaimed my natural authority as the true center for the
great American narrative. Peopleheed my dramatic and dynamic voice!
I deliver the goods, but my goods are cultural, aesthetic, spiritual.
My task is to honor the multidimentionality of my unique American story.
I am practically an institution because my life today is full
of ecletic vitality and reverence for the wisdom and knowledge of the past.
No one can see into the future, but when I think of the past I remember
that my grandfather really rocked. My grandmothers died before I was born.
I believe that life infuses all sides of my story, including the inner life.
This makes me special. That’s what I claim.
My goal is to be a transformative force in all our lives.
The work is not simple or easy. The challenges are not for the timid.
This momentous aspiration requires patiences, passion, and dedication.
So much depends on your help. Do not put me on hold.
Terence Patrick Winch has published eight full-length books of poems, numerous chapbooks, one book of nonfiction on his experiences playing traditional Irish music, and one collection of short stories. Some of his books include: The Known Universe (Hanging Loose, 2017), This Way Out (Hanging Loose, 2014), The Drift of Things (The Figures, 2001), and The Great Indoors (Story Line Press, 1989). His first book, Boning Up, was published by Some Of Us Press in 1972. Winch is the winner of an American Book Award, a Columbia Book Award, and a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing. He has been featured numerous times on Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac” radio program, and was the subject of a profile on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Winch is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Fund for Poetry. His work is included in more than 40 anthologies, including The Oxford Book of American Poetry and five Best of American Poetry collections. Winch has also written for The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, The Village Voice, The Wilson Quarterly, The Dictionary of Irish Literature, and The Oxford Companion to American Poetry. In the early 1970s, Winch was one of the organizers of the Mass Transit poets, a group that organized poetry readings and published a literary journal. He is one of the co-founders of Some Of Us Press. He has also been closely associated with the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in lower Manhattan. Born in the Bronx to Irish immigrants, Winch has also played traditional Irish music all his life. In 1977, he started a band with his brother Jesse Winch called Celtic Thunder, and recorded three albums with the group. His new CD is This Day Too: Music from Irish America (Celtic Thunder Music, 2017). The band won an INDIE Award for Best Celtic Album, and in 1992, Winch was named by Irish America Magazine as one of its “Top 100 Irish Americans.” To read more by this author: Terence Winch: Winter 2002 Terence Winch: DC Places Issue