In mid-60s Belfast, Eddie Francey is a young comedian trying to get a break. He wonders if he has what it takes, but he has responsibilities: a wife and young son. This is the point when an explosive passion for another woman, who could not be more off-limits, overtakes him. The last thing he needs at the moment is to fall for the last woman on earth he ought to fall for.
Robert Graham is the co-author, with Keith Baty, of Elvis – The Novel (The Do-Not Press, 1997). His short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies and on Radio 4. His first novel, Holy Joe, was published by Troubador in 2006. Salt published his short story collection, The Only Living Boy, in July 2009 and his chapbook, A Man Walks Into A Kitchen, in 2011. He teaches Creative Writing at MMU’s Cheshire Faculty.
Praise for Holy Joe
‘There are some lovely touches of humour throughout the book and music and film buffs will appreciate the references to iconic classics. A really entertaining novel.’
‘Robert Graham’s portrayal of a man living through the worst of experiences is witty and incredibly touching.’
‘Funny and tragic all at the same time, wittily and sharply observed, it makes for excellent, entertaining reading.’
Orchids springs from the margins of contemporary masculinity. A rich undercurrent of melancholy and desire seethes beneath the cool rhetorical playfulness of these monologues, as anguished speakers face the unfeasibility of confession. Beyond their fantastic flights and metamorphoses, these poems remain most troubled by the everydayness of their melodramas.
“Rapid, surprising and unlikely, J.T. Welsch’s poems spin brilliant variations on the recession, translation, gender studies and war. Strangely and completely convincingly, these subjects are refracted through the love poems which comprise this pamphlet. Hammered out in stanzas which show an inviting formal authority and are a pleasure to read, Orchids re-routes the work of his great St. Louis predecessors for the 21st century.”
– John McAuliffe
“Orchids is a distinguished debut: clever but emotional, ingenious but affecting. The poems are a self-sufficient pleasure, and promise very well for the future.”
– Andrew Motion
J.T. Welsch grew up in a small farm town near St. Louis, Missouri, but lives and teaches in Manchester, UK, where he completed a PhD this past year. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbox Manifold, Stand, Boston Review and Manchester Review. Orchids (Salt, 2010) is his first book of poetry. Another pamphlet, Orchestra & Chorus, will be published by Holdfire Press in September 2011.
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Read samples and order Orchids from Salt.