Bone Rosary

Bone Rosary

New and Selected Poems

Thomas Lynch


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A selection of the very best from one of America’s most thought-provoking writers: poems on life, faith, doubt, and death that read like memoir, essay, and story. As The New York Times said, “likely to resonate with many who have come face to face with life’s most important questions.”

Thomas Lynch—like Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams—is a poet who writes about real things with language rooted in the everyday yet masterfully infused with power:

I have steady work, a circle of friends
and lunch on Thursdays with the Rotary.
I have a wife, unspeakably beautiful,
a daughter and three sons, a cat, a car,
good credit, taxes, and mortgage payments
and certain duties here. Notably,
when folks get horizontal, breathless, still:
life in Milford ends. They call. I send a car.

Thomas Lynch spent his career as an undertaker in Midwest America—and in his off-hours became a writer of exceptional insight. Publishers Weekly calls him, “A poet with something to say and something worth listening to.” This collection presents 140 of his greatest poems drawn from his previous books, Skating with Heather Grace, Still Life in Milford, Grimalkin, The Sin-Eater, and Walking Papers. This is a collection for readers who love all life’s questions and mysteries—big and small.

“Thomas Lynch’s poems take us under the apparent world to where consciousness is alive and shimmering with joy and loss, blindness and epiphany.”—Billy Collins


Thomas Lynch:

Thomas Lynch is the author of five books of essays, a book of short fiction and five books of poetry. He was a National Book Award finalist for The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade and is the recipient of the American Book Award, The Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, The Denise Levertov Award, The Great Lakes Book Award, and Michigan Authors Award. Mr. Lynch lives in Michigan, where he worked as a funeral director until his retirement, and in Ireland, where he keeps an ancestral home.