Poetry News

There's no place like home

By Harriet Staff

Poet Rhonda Welsh was born and raised in Detroit, and she knows the city doesn't exactly scream bastion of artistic activity in the popular imagination. Perhaps that needs to change, insists the poet, who recently came out with Red Clay Legacy, her first collection. Though she had dreams of going elsewhere to pursue her poetic fancies, Welsh soon realized that everything she needed for inspiration was with her all along.

From Time magazine's Detroit blog:

“I live on the West side. I definitely don't want to gloss over the problems here because I see them and I'm aware of them,” Welsh said. “But I'm surrounded by families, kids taking lessons, people fixing dinner, people going out and about. So, sometimes, when you watch the news and you see how Detroit is depicted, it's hard for me to understand.

That is where poetry comes in. It is one of the ways Welsh deciphers what is around her, the epiphanies of everyday life.

In honor of the city that shaped her, Welsh wrote this adoring ode:

My Only Home

Detroit is my only home.
Child of the west side...
Majestic, Puritan, Elmhurst,
Linwood, Plymouth, Eight Mile

All the while
craved a
different existence
but finally realized
Detroit is who I am.....

Originally Published: October 4th, 2010