A Note from Greg...

So often I am surprised by those poems which seem to have had the most effect on readers. A poem I may feel strongly about, a "success" in my eyes, may leave another feeling cool, uninspired, or ambivalent. Likewise, a piece I may view as a virtual throwaway, shared with a friend or acquaintance on a whim, can have a great emotional impact on that person. So a good reader is essential. A good reader is also a teacher, opening doors to psyche and spirit, just as the poet has attempted to do through his or her work. Certainly I have discovered layers in my own work through the eyes of others. In this way -- the stream of language and ideas flowing both ways -- poetry continues to inspire and surprise both writer and reader. 

Upcoming Titles

'The Days Between' to be published by Kelsay Books

'Stars Unseen' to be published by Holy Cow Press

Heartfelt, poetic meditations that explore family dynamics from an accomplished poet of Finnish heritage.

In Stars Unseen, Greg Watson fearlessly navigates a path through multi-generational trauma and grief, explores his Finnish-American heritage, and the joys and challenges of single parenting in the present age. It is a clear-eyed collection that seeks hope and redemption in the face of adversity, and manages to pin down the smallest moments for closer examination. 

Published Works

Released November 1, 2022

Printed by Whistling Shade Press

From a record store to a marathon to a newborn intensive care unit, Greg Watson's poems catalogue the intimate moments that fall just below the surface of a busy, modern world. By turns tender and elegiac, his sparse lines are filled with a quiet reverie that attempts to describe 'the sound of light' itself.

A rare kind of stillness seems to be the hallmark of a Greg Watson poem, which is all the more remarkable because the poems themselves are anything but static. The poems are about moments caught, pinned down, observed, but they open into such wide emotional and erotic terrain in which the literal, domestic world slides effortlessly into the figurative. 

The first edition of Open Door, Open Wall was the winner of the 1998 blood & feathers chapbook contest, and was originally published by Malevolence Publications. This is contemporary American poet Greg Watson's second edition of Open Door, Open Wall - updated for publication as a small paperback in 2020. 

Cold Water Memory is a collection of poems about winter. Greg Watson writes about true love, lost love, crow dust, dark eyes, coffee grounds, deep autumn, and ancient photographs. His poetry is testament to what Albert Camus once said:"In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was, in me, an invincible summer." -Heather McElhatton, Minnesota Public Radio 

Greg Watson is the rare treat: a poet who brings us to both grief and exultation in a single line. His work is a map of human life: brief yet timeless. His perfect, perfect words will lodge in your soul and psyche--and you will be temporally, eternally grateful for their beauty and wisdom. --Mary Petrie 

Greg Watson's work is lovely, straightforward poetry, easy for poetry novices to read but still rewarding for more practiced readers. All his books explore a mood or experience in related short poems, imagistic and moving. Ideal gift books, as almost any reader can enjoy these poems. 

Watson explores the land of road trips and family memories, libraries and coffee shops, love and miscommunication, giving voice to melancholy reflections and capturing brief moments of beauty and insight with an unique turn of phrase. An atmosphere of exquisite loss hang over many of these lyrics, but the unhurried rhythms of the lines themselves and the clarity of the images he places before us, allow Watson to sidestep any hint of self-pity or bathos. 

Greg Watson's poetry carries an everyday eloquence that harbors elements of mystery and sangfroid by turns. There are times when it's difficult to tell one from the other, as images and thoughts develop with even-tempered grace. He is a master at evoking the silences that grow between lovers, the emotional undertow of gentle rain, the allure of shadows, and the bitter-sweet power of memories and mute artifacts to keep us chained to the past. 

A small collection of short love poems released for the advent of Valentine's Day in 2021.

Annmarie Revisions is a short collection of poems relating to romance, relationships, and loss. It was first published as a chapbook in 2000. 

There are numerous books in print about parenting and family development, but few like this.  Fathers offer their own accounts of being fathers from a startling variety of perspectives. Editors Greg Watson and Richard Broderick have masterfully gathered poignant, first-hand accounts of moments in a father's life.

Anthologies & Almanacs

Nerve Cowboy, Selected Works: 1996 -2004 published August 2023. 164 pages, perfect bound, jam packed with amazing poems, stories, and art.

From 1996 to 2022, Nerve Cowboy was a biannual journal of poetry, short fiction, art, and music. As we turn to our next chapter, our goal continues to be to feature work sensitive enough to make the hardest hard-ass cry, funny enough to make the most hopeless brooder laugh, and disturbing enough to make us all glad we're not the author of the piece. 

Published by Magers & Quinn

"This generous collection of poetry includes writers of great sophistication and experience, as well as exciting poets relatively new to the craft. To borrow from Margaret Hasse, words themselves lent by Virginia Woolf, here are ""little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark."" has become an essential website for the Minnesota arts community. What Light - the weekly column and the anthology - illustrates its commitment to presenting the best new work in the state." 

Published by Ramsey County Library

In early 2021, Ramsey County Library partnered with The Loft Literary Center to host a series of writing workshops online focused on writing about 2020. Led by poet and essayist Michael Kleber-Diggs, these workshops engaged participants through the written word and gave us tools to think and feel through our experiences of the past year. These workshops helped lay the groundwork for This Was 2020 as a collection of writings by Minnesotans of pandemics and social justice. 

“There are stories of grief, anger and injustice as well as stories of love, affirmation, and celebration. There are stories of resistance that inspire us to hope for a more just world. We also noticed a thread of profound resilience: the courage to take a risk, the ability to adapt, the determination to follow one’s dreams, and the spirit of working together. We hope that these stories, poems and artwork will be treasured as representative of the beauty of Saint Paul as well as where change, inclusion, and healing are still needed.”

—Wendy Brown-Baéz 

There are numerous books in print about parenting and family development, but few like this one, in which fathers offer their own accounts of being fathers from a startling variety of perspectives. Editors Greg Watson and Richard Broderick have masterfully gathered poignant, first-hand accounts of moments in a father's life from teething to burying; reflective poems describing the arc of fatherhood; accounts of insight, struggle, grief and delight gained while being a father; and epiphanies that occur only to parents. 

Published by Nodin Press

This anthology contains a wide array of poems by Minnesota poets dealing with the experience of personal loss, grief, and recovery. Among the specific themes are divorce, the death of a child, and giving up a child for adoption. The selections also include moving descriptions of healing and the return of high spirits. Among the poets included are Greg Watson, Deborah Keenan, Wang Ping, John Berryman, James Wright, and Robert Bly. 

Published by Nodin Press

The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is an international nongovernmental organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota, with locations around the world, including Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, and the United States. The center extends multidisciplinary rehabilitative care to torture survivors every day. In honor of their 30th anniversary, CVT asked individuals to share what hope means to them on a Tumblr webpage. From around the world, people sent original photos, poems, essays, and messages of hope, the best of which are reproduced here. 

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