The life and work of poet Walt McDonald contains multitudes. A fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran who came to poetry late, Walt went on to publish over 2,000 poems in his career. His voice appealed to all kinds of readers. His poems appeared in journals ranging from First Things to The Nation, from JAMA to The Atlantic Monthly. He published over twenty books of poetry and served as the poet laureate of Texas.
Turning on candid observation, quietly resonant sound, and a present narrative sensibility, Walt's poems move from a cockpit over Vietnam to the big West Texas emptiness and the Rocky Mountains.
Beginning in 2019, Walt sat with his prolific collection of poetry and began selecting his favorite works, grouping them together in four distinct movements. The results are before you here in this comprehensive collection of a lifetime's effort. The Essential Walt McDonald is a must-have poetic opus, shaped by a giant of the Texas community of letters.