The Annotated "Here" and Selected Poems

Poetry by Marjorie Welish

April 1, 2000 • 7 x 10 • 160 pages • 978-1-56689-098-4

A retrospective of this challenging New York School / Language poet’s life work in poetry, The Annotated “Here” features poems in sequences that meditate on words and sentences, as well as on themes found in existing texts of poems and paintings. Welish’s poems blur the lines between art criticism and lyrical meditations on language and reality.

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.


The Annotated “Here” occupies a substantial niche in the advancement of poetics. Ever present is the radical order of the poet’s mind. . . . There is comic energy that takes the reader by surprise. ‘Surprise’ is one of her gifts.” —Barbara Guest

“An astonishing book. It does not describe. It maps and annotates a world we can almost touch and see, yet which is clearly a space of the mind. . . . Most of all, it makes us participate in an intensity of language, which annuls things and recreates them as word and music, exhilarating primordial sacrifice that celebrates our humanness.” —Rosmarie Waldrop

“Wrenching, obdurate music. There may be no known correspondences for Marjorie Welish’s mind. The poems neither describe nor situate but compose and construct. The procedures are odd but the materials quite embodied. . . . She’s a little bit scary.” —C.D. Wright

“Strolling through the shards of modernism, these caustically rigorous inquiries into perception and language help annotate both the here and now of contemporary poetry, ongoingly turning into elsewhere.” Village Voice

“Welish is a painter as well as an art critic and poet, and she takes advantage of the insight this triple engagement gives her. . . . Her poetry is rigorously engaged with the material nature of words, lines and sentences. Shapeliness and musicality are deployed with steel-springed humor. Her syntax assembles and disassembles with mathematical grace.” BOMB 

“For Welish, as with the Alice Notley of Descent of Alette, cordoned off words and phrases imply a poised and thoughtful consciousness, caught in the midst of intellective and amusing animations of things and thought.” Publishers Weekly

“Welish’s diction is relentlessly, maddeningly, dazzlingly abstract. . . . The result is a cerebral music that offers, for those willing to spend real time, a commensurate reward.” Kirkus

“Welish posits a world of belated, thwarted deixis, of quasi-chimerical example, her written words answer the question posed by ‘Setting, Or Farewell’: ‘How is this example alive?’” Boston Review

“Ferocious, sometimes hilarious and always provocative. . . . A vital, original, and significant book. No one has ever written like Marjorie Welish.” Poetry Project Newsletter