NEWS FROM THE WORLD AT MY BIRTH: A HISTORY
by Peter Weltner
Set in the era of World War Two, Weltner’s narrative poems evoke a time and people whose stories, charged with erotic intensity and pain, speak to how the passions and struggles of past generations still haunt us today.
“Peter Weltner’s News from the World at My Birth is filled with characters and stories. Almost all take place just before, during and just after the Second World War. The book is, among other things, a great read, almost a page turner. This is extremely unusual in a book of poetry, but then these are amazingly individual and unique poems. The voice is dense, articulate, charged with erotic intensity and pain. The lyricism is subtle. It is a voice you can trust, even when it leads you into some of the darkest regions of the heart. This is a marvelous book. It demonstrates the necessity of poetry.” -Bill Mayer, author of The Uncertainty Principle
“These poems are not autobiography. They tell stories taken from newsreels, histories, and movies of the period and from anecdotes the poet was told by those who were there. In the book’s last poem, “The Birds,” the past is like a raven’s dance, their black wings invisible as they prance about at midnight. But still we stare into that dark because, like place, the past is who we are. Sixty five and more years ago the world fought a terrible war, one that continues in our souls, our hearts, our minds even if we are not conscious of its presence. These poems speak of how real the past still is, how much it still pleads, ‘Give us peace.’‘” -Linda Gregg, author of All of it Singing: New and Selected Poems