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3/17 - Carolyn Welch and Caroline Malone

About The Garden of Fragile Beings and Carolyn Welch

Carolyn Welch (Scarbrough) is a Tennessee poet residing in Norris, TN (Anderson County).  Her poetry has the unique perspective of a health care professional with keen insight into human illness and suffering combined with astute observation of the natural world.  Cover art is watercolor by Tennessee artist Jeff Bailey.

Tennessee poet Jesse Graves, the author of two books of poetry: Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine and Basin Ghosts, writes of this collection: 

“The poems in The Garden of Fragile Beings, Carolyn Welch’s deep and moving examination of the richness of life, offer buoyant odes and sobering elegies, many about a career spent in the noblest occupation, the nursing of gravely ill children. Poems such as “Nurses in Spring” and “Two-Year Olds in ICU” take us directly into that world of hope and vulnerability. Welch’s poems bring their readers to some elemental questions about art. Why do we make it? What is it good for? What lack does it fill? I am reminded of William Carlos Williams, himself a physician, and his famous lines about poetry from his volume, Paterson: “It is difficult / to get the news from poems, / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Welch’s poems remind us that we may find a balm in poetry, and in nature, as in “Mercy,” where trillium abides “Unsanctioned and / perhaps holy among the brambles.” Such small, and often unexpected, pleasures are necessary when confronted with the fragile beings that live within these poems. Carolyn Welch’s The Garden of Fragile Beings reminds us that beauty takes on a special radiance when its source may not last, and these poems share their unforgettable abundance of grace and light.”                                                                                        

Carolyn Welch worked for many years as a pediatric intensive care nurse, all the while writing poetry and short fiction. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, an MSN from Tennessee Technological University and a BA in Creative Writing from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She currently works as a family nurse practitioner.  Carolyn’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Sundog, Tar River Poetry, Conduit, Connecticut River Review, High Desert Journal, The Southeast Review, Zone 3, The Minnesota Review, American Journal of Nursing and other literary journals.  Her poem “Rain Run” was nominated for a Pushcart.


About Dark Roots and Caroline Malone

“I know how things sink in;” drawing deeply from the ancient land, the collective soul that hums beneath her feet, and in her words, Caroline Malone does, indeed, know, and reveals to us that knowing, of fear and prayer and loss, of the paths we make to seek—and find—our own souls, even when they seem to flee from us, into the history of the secret city of Oak Ridge, to the rubble at the feet of the Parthenon, into the arms of the Civil War ghosts who linger at the shoulders of every Southerner. Caroline Malone’s Dark Roots is a fearless passage through the persistence of sorrow, but more importantly, it is a resounding tribute to the resilience of Love, the love that lies, as the title poem reveals so beautifully, “in the dark roots that contain the lights,/when the domain of God is reserved for those/who dare occupy the land with gratitude…” In “Praise the Every Day,” Malone reminds us, “remember, the whole heart you were given,/the passionate kiss always forming,” and these poems, in their quiet elegance and yearning, in their velvet detail and natural texture, take us to that desperately needed remembering, courageous in their descent into the darkness, and redemptive as they return us, again and again, to the light, and the Love, that we are.

–Mary Carroll-Hackett, author of The Night I Heard Everything and A Little Blood, A Little Rain


“Stark and haunting, these poems dig deep to the roots of identity and the self.”

–Julia Watts, author of Gifted and Talented


Caroline Malone was born and lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.  A graduate of The University of Tennessee with a B.A. in English and Classics, she earned the MFA in Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her poems have appeared in Boulevard, The Dos Passos Review, Women’s Voices, Women Period, Heartwood, and others. The collection Dark Roots explores the meaning of family, heritage, and identity.

Currently, she teaches writing and literature at South College in Knoxville, TN. She also plays Irish traditional music on the bouzouki, mandolin, guitar, concertina, and fiddle.


About Finishing Line Press

Finishing Line Press is a poetry publisher based in Georgetown, Kentucky. In addition to the Chapbook Series, it publishes the New Women’s Voices Series and sponsors the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition.

Event Date: 
Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 2:00pm
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902
The Garden of Fragile Beings Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635347364
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Finishing Line Press - October 19th, 2018

Dark Roots Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635344899
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Finishing Line Press - May 11th, 2018