Winner of the 2016 Iowa Poetry Prize

Odd Bloom Seen from Space


Timothy Daniel Welch


out now from The University of Iowa Press

Pre-order Online right now!


Formal Greetings

Dear reader, voyeur, space pirate: welcome to This site hopes to support the work of Timothy Daniel Welch, a fellow traveler, teacher, and author who caught the biggest break of his life when poet and judge Craig Morgan Teicher chose his manuscript, Odd Bloom Seen from Space, to win the 2016 Iowa Poetry Prize. For those of us who don't write poetry, it’s like a good thing. For better or worse, he is glad to have the opportunity to share his writings and accomplishments on the digital landscape. So thank you, person of the world, for visiting. And please read on if you are interested in learning more about Timothy and his poetry. 




These poems speak an odd nostalgia for what turns on, in, and alongside the world. A tragedy of loss, a miracle of eroticism, or a comedy of road kill, Odd Bloom Seen from Space looks at the self amid the ashes of fleeting exultation and uncertainty. The speaker tells stories with wild candor on matters of heroic inadequacy while searching through his obsessive questions for greater meaning.

Sunshine III, Arthur Dove

But it’s in the act of discovery, through the hero’s immediate ancestry, that Welch’s debut collection confronts big questions about family, music, art, and memory. Like a contemporary Diogenes who pursues meaning one small gesture at a time, Welch comes to learn truth is a “brutal commerce,” beauty is “white legs / upon which she shed her childhood,” time is “Michael Jackson / hooting in the trees,” and “Love is gradual, a bottle / by sips, a bottle / poured onto the floor.” There is wisdom to be gained from these inventive pursuits, but in the end it’s not what is said, but how it’s said with terse rhetoric, deep imagery, and surprising humor that makes Odd Bloom Seen from Space such a gorgeous, original, and baffling collection.




Dawn, Arthur Dove


"How quickly we forget the courage required of love, all the risk and awkward beauty giving our lives gravity. Odd Bloom Seen from Space, Timothy Daniel Welch’s debut poetry collection, offers a rare glimpse into our humanity, spanning adolescence, romance and mythology, reminding the reader of the fragile, heroic, and more often, absurd nature of the spirit. Funny, frank and formally innovative, Welch has crafted a unique voice. Vulnerable and equally unflinching, these poems render nervous laughter."

—Amaud Jamaul Johnson, author, Darktown Follies



“In these poems, Welch is an attentive watcher who has ‘lived most of my life alone.’ From the little distance he cultivates, he manages a detailed view of the big picture. He is sometimes at the seashore, where he can observe children at play, seals ‘lifting their backs / upon the water,’ and wonders, ‘is there a story to each wave that crosses the sea?’ He looks to the distant shores of Greece, both for its timeless myths that are the roots of Western thought, and perhaps for more personal connections. This is classical poetry set in our time, with room for ‘Owls and their Michael Jackson / hooting in the trees’ and ‘reading Anna Karenina / on a Kindle.’ The ‘odd bloom’ of the title is an astronaut’s vision of the towers collapsing on 9/11, though Welch sees it ‘peripherally, which is what this is, some side-line / reflection’; history seems to happen to other people, in other places, affording Welch his detached viewpoint from which a kind of unbiased truth might be reported. Finally, for all its subtle sarcasms, this is a deeply earnest book, one sensitive soul’s reckoning with a troubled age.”

— Craig Morgan Teicher, judge, Iowa Poetry Prize

Golden Sun , Arthur Dove

Golden Sun, Arthur Dove


"Like the grand subject of Timothy Daniel Welch’s poem “Nose Of Least Comparison,” Welch’s debut book is wonderfully distinct, handsomely made, and exhibits those historical pressures and markers that make for a very particular and brilliant consciousness. The reader of Odd Bloom Seen from Space is in for surprise after surprise. Not once could I figure where Welch was taking me at the start of a poem, and the pleasure of this poet's sure-handed, illuminating guidance is immense. This is a book that earns such trust and affection, for its intellectual honesty, formal expertise, capacious heart, and occasionally roguish wit. Truly, I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s one of the best debut books I’ve read in many years."

—Erin Belieu, author, Slant Six



“In language gemlike, shining, Timothy Daniel Welch invokes the labors of Hercules, an odd bloom seen from space, a mother’s death, fishing, snow, and an ode to a nose, to embrace the vagaries of memory and the mysteries of time and the universe, in poems that continually seduce and surprise. ‘Imagine a book of poems catching fire in the afternoon,’ and you will know this book of marvels, this marvel of a book.”

— Ronald Wallace, author, For Dear Life


“In rich and heartbreaking lines, Welch gives meaning to our designs—cubist, elliptical, often erotic. ‘There’s beauty in wanting more / time to be young, to sing and seize it in a photograph or / music video before it goes from us.’”

—Sandra Alcosser, author, Except by Nature



Odd Bloom Seen from Space is currently available to purchase from


University of Iowa Press


Barnes and Nobles


Indiebound Books


Cover Art: Moon and Sea II by Arthur Dove


TDWelch Author Photo 1 dpi 300 crop color.jpg

Timothy Daniel Welch

Timothy Daniel Welch received an MFA in Poetry from San Diego State University and a PhD in English from Florida State University, and was the 2013-2014 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing. Originally from Orange County, California, he lives in Tallahassee, Florida. His poetry may be found in journals such as Rattle, Arts & Letters, Best New Poets, Green Mountains Review Online, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. His first book of poetry, Odd Bloom Seen From Space, is forthcoming from The University of Iowa Press in 2017. He normally wears glasses.



“My virginity, like a herd of red cattle


I drove for seventeen years,


  was dumb and almost


"On the Isle of Erytheia"




To schedule a reading, request a review copy of Odd Bloom Seen from Space, or contact Timothy about his work, send an email to

Links:        University of Iowa Press