Never miss a post
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries


« Point Counterpoint: David Lehman and Amy Gerstler on Mad Men Season 7 Episode 6 | Main | APIA Series: Eugenia Leigh Poem and Interview [by Sally Wen Mao] »

May 24, 2014


Tom---They're all just aspirational, my friend, but #3 is definitely the one I've come closest to mastering.

Well put, Doc, well put.

Kudos, Doc. Very fine speech. But how the hell did this happen? Brer Reilly must be spinning in his sepulcher.

Dear Michael: I really don't know. When Iona contacted me, I asked if they had really vetted me to their complete satisfaction. They said: yes. But I must say that everyone connected to the event was warm & gracious. The invitation may go back to the 2007 reading that Bill Nevins, Angelo Verga, and I did on campus, which seemed to make a good impression. I was very sad to learn at the commencement that Tom Pendleton & Peter Chedda, both of whom were at the '07 event, have recently passed away.

Iona College displayed impeccable taste and courted sweet serendipity when it invited Terence Winch, class of 1967, to give the keynote speech at its graduate school commencement. Like his justly celebrated verse and stories, Terence Winch's inspired, inspiring talk rang with the authority of someone who had taken the "L" train often and knew its stops all too well: loved (see #1), lived (see all), livid (see #9), loathed (see #10), lauded (see #2), ludic (see all), and limpid (see all). It's one "L" of a speech from one hell of a writer and speaker.

Lovely speech - what a great time we had!

Man, they're just givin' away those Iona honorary doctorates. Good shit, Terry.

Thank you, Stefano.

Dear Ms. Campbell: yes, we did,  and will continue to, have a good time. 

Thank you, Earle, for your typically generous reaction.

Dear Terry,

Lovely words--sincerity and humor in equal measure. You have provided poetry lovers and music lovers like me with great gifts over the years and I am delighted that you have received this award from your old school. Congrats, Dr. Terry.


Eamonn Wall

Dear Terence, you'll never know how many words of your wisdom I've carried with me since NMAA days. So glad to see that young minds will continue to benefit. Thank you, friend.

Thanks, Eamonn.  Good to hear from you, as always.

Thanks, Karen. Always nice to hear from you.

Terence, this wonderful address must have kept the graduates riveted, often smiling, occasionally laughing, and always relieved that they were not hearing the usual run of yawn-inducing bromides. If the hood fits, wear it. It fits very well, and it came not a moment too soon. I suggest you wear it around the neighborhood—at the grocery store, when filling up the gas tqnk, buying shopping for floss, etc. When I receive my own honorary degree and am asked to give the commencement address, I may pay you the honor of stealing yours.

Thank you, Bill. My fees for re-using the speech are quite reasonable.

You may have just knocked the "Ten Commandments" off their perennial perch with your "Top Ten Ways to Ultimate Success & Happiness in Life," Terence. Moses supposes no more. After all, the tablets he brought down from Mount Sinai had no mention of the vital importance of dental hygiene. Let's face it: he never flossed. You may have (slight cringe coming) gummed up the works for him. Your evocation of the great Irish traditional tune "Contentment Is Wealth" could not have been better done. And "Moll Niland’s Principle" is now engraved on my heart. Final observation: your gift for prose sparkles like your gift for poetry.

Dr. Earle: Thanks for the comment. Always happy to hear what you have to say.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Best American Poetry Web ad3
click image to order your copy
BAP ad
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Click image to order


  • StatCounter