2010 Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Contest.
Ryan Walsh grew up in Elkins, West Virginia. He graduated from Warren Wilson College and holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His poems have appeared in Ecotone, FIELD, Green Mountains Review, Narrative Magazine, Southern Poetry Review, among others, and he serves on the editorial board of Q Ave Press, makers of handmade poetry chapbooks. Each spring, he teaches in the University of Michigan's New England Literature Program in Maine.
Reviews for The Sinks:
"A prayer for transformation for recognition that even humans, those creatures of 'marbled meat / and water,' are part of the land: we are crops, 'lithe, bright grasses." - Jennifer Perrine
"In language rich and sinewy, with a terse energy and an evocative music, Ryan Walsh establishes his mastery as a poet of place. Like Richard Hugo, James Wright, Philip Levine, or Seamus Heaney before him, he embraces a love of the elemental, of earth and weather and landscape, of rural people and working-class life. Always accessible, bristling with sensual clarity, his poems nevertheless retain a sense of mystery and enigma that teases the reader into thought. As a line from Walsh's wonderfully celebratory poem "In the Frame of Innings, Pendleton County, W. Va." suggests, "What else to do but tip my hat / and marvel?" - Ronald Wallace
"For Ryan Walsh, a pursuit of the Divine isn't possible without investigating the hard truths of landscape and the limitations of the body. Line by line, the music in The Sinks is arresting. The beauty here is boiled down to an essential and distinctly American voice. These poems hover in space between the pastoral and elegy. As if in a wind stripped field, the reader is invited to stand shoulder to shoulder with these speakers, searching for a vocabulary to ground the grandeur of a Midwestern horizon." - Amaud Jamaul Johnson