Well Well Reality

By Rosmarie Waldrop, Keith Waldrop


Litmus Press, The Post-Apollo Press
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover photograph by Walt Odets
Design by Simone Fattal
Collaboration, Poetry
Edition, Year
Reprint, 2016
In Print

First published by The Post-Apollo Press in 1998, Well Well Reality is a collection of poems written in collaboration by Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop over a number of years. The distinct voices of these two momentously prolific poets merge to create a new, lyric voice: a vast, plural assemblage of name, gender, and language. 

Rosmarie Waldrop
Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Germany, in 1935. At age 10 she spent half a year acting with a traveling theater, but was happy when schools reopened and she could settle for the quieter pleasures of reading and writing which ... Read More
Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop was born in Kansas and served in the United States military. He studied at Aix-Marseille and Michigan Universities, earning a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1964. His first book of poetry, A Windmill Near ... Read More

Every time I pull [Well Well Reality] out and start reading, usually while waiting in my kids’ school pickup line, I put it down and start to write, which is one reason I’m always reading the Waldrops.

— Kate Colby, Tarpaulin Sky


Praise for Well Well Reality

When Rosmarie Waldrop writes poetry, when she writes poems, she writes her poems: the poems, the poetry of Rosmarie Waldrop. When Keith Waldrop writes poetry, when he writes poems, he writes his poems: the poems, the poetry of Keith Waldrop. But when Rosmarie and Keith, when Keith and Rosmarie write poems together, whose poems are those poems? They are the poems of a third poet, whose name and gender and origin and language we do not know. But what we do see, and hear, are the poems. 

— Jacques Roubaud

Well Well Reality is not mere doubling nor a union, but a blending of figure and ground, to create “moments / when the light and dark of bodies fits the random / detail of a curtain.” … What I like about these poems, or autonomous authorless units, whatever you would like to call them, is that they have the child’s flair for recombination… Our two authors are not afraid to play games with tenses, [or] with the structure of language itself.

Kyle Walsh, SPD Staff Picks 2017

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