About the Author:

Marjorie Welish is the author of The Annotated “Here” and Selected Poems, Word Group, Isle of the Signatories, In the Futurity Lounge / Asylum for Indeterminacy, and So What So That (Winter 2016), all from Coffee House Press. The papers delivered at a conference on her writing and art held at the University of Pennsylvania were published in the book Of the Diagram: The Work of Marjorie Welish (Slought Books). In 2009, Granary Books published Oaths? Questions?, a collaborative artists’ book by Marjorie Welish and James Siena which was the subject of a special exhibition at Denison University Museum, Granville, Ohio; the book is in permanent collections, including that of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recent art exhibitions have occurred at Emanuel von Baeyer Cabinet, London, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, England, and ART-3, Brooklyn. Her honors include the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Fellowship from Brown University, the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Poetry Fellowship at Cambridge University, and two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has held a Senior Fulbright Fellowship, which has taken her to the University of Frankfurt and to the Edinburgh College of Art. She is now Madelon Leventhal Rand Chair in Literature at Brooklyn College.

Books Available:


  • Lenore Marshal Poetry Prize Finalist
  • Village Voice 25 Best Books of the Year
  • John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
  • Judith E. Wilson Visiting Poetry Fellowship of Cambridge University
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist, Frankfurt, Germany; Edinburgh, Scotland
  • The George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation
  • Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation
  • Trust for Mutual Understanding, Lodz, Poland
  • Pollock-Krasner Foundation
  • Fondation Royaumont, France
  • New York Foundation for the Arts
  • Fund for Poetry

Praise for Marjorie Welish

“PARAPHRASE, HERESY OF. This entry in an encyclopedia on poetics has something to say about poetic language that by definition keeps distant from scientific iteration. But So What So That proposes something else, and throughout are statements and citations as well as swerves from these, grafts and translations as well as swerves from these. Speech turns into writing, and writing turns into Sprechstimme. Here are new paths for the mind; for the voice, possibilities that no one has heard paraphrased. So What So That extemporizes on the question: What is the same?”—Aaron Kunin

Marjorie Welish’s So What So That is at once meditative and noisy, a charting of the obstinate continuum of consciousness and a scattergraph of words and phrases assembled—as in the music of one of her poem’s subjects, Iannis Xenakis—stochastically, open to chance and never to be predicted. These poems are also synesthetic, throwing ‘flatted fifths into the kiln,’ which could suggest a ‘fragmented’ subject in postmodern parlance but, in fact, expresses the unique collusion of color, tone, and text—the distinctive klangfarbe—of Welish’s sensibility. Finally, these poems are engaged—the ethics of art, politics, and language comprises the binding undertone—and though ‘difficult’ at first, So What So That is a tour of a mind enviably open to everything but ‘negatively’ (in Keats’s sense) skirting conclusion.”—Brian Kim Stefans

“[Welish] challenges ‘prettiness’ at an almost feverish pitch, working against a poem’s anticipated flow even as she moves it along with jazzy verve.”—Bookforum

In the Futurity Lounge / Asylum for Indeterminacy is an experimental double-header. . . . It’s a work to be grasped in the reading—and rereading.”—Library Journal

“At its core, Welish’s work illustrates how the truly creative act In the Futurity Lounge is an archeological dig into modernism’s ruins to find our present moment anticipated as figure, speech act, performance. Marjorie Welish’s brilliant arcade if architectural designs, Brechtian stage sets, Dada events, and new technologies (the ball-point pen, the typewriter) renews Baudelaire’s metropole as allegory. Indeterminacy, what we can’t know in advance becomes both safe haven and exile.—Michael Davidson