Warren Woessner

Warren WoessnerWarren Woessner is a poet, an attorney, and a chemist. He did his undergraduate work in chemistry at Cornell University, where he also studied creative writing with A. R. Ammons and James McConkey. He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he co-founded Abraxas magazine and WORT-FM. His poetry has appeared in many literary reviews, environmental journals, and anthologies, including Poetry, Poetry Northwest, The Nation, and Appalachia. He has received individual poetry fellowships from the NEA and the Wisconsin Arts Board. Warren works as a biotechnology patent attorney in Minneapolis.

Books by Warren Woessner for the Backwaters Press

Clear All the Rest of the Way Clear All the Rest of the Way by Warren Woessner

Author: Warren Woessner
Format: Paperback, 96 pages
ISBN: 0979393442
Published: March 2008

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Critical Praise for Warren Woessner

These are poems with the heart as their true subject. That is, they arise as honest and authentic responses to feeling rather than as illustrations of ideas, and I admire that immensely.
Ted Kooser – U.S. Poet Laureate 2004-2006

Warren Woessner’s poems ask us to see beyond mere looking, to hear beyond listening—and in so doing, they supply us with terse, carefully crafted images wonderfully suited to the challenge. Whatever their territory, it is filled with surprises!
Mark Vinz – Author of Late Night Calls

Woessner speaks with the authority of one who has spent his life in the world—rendering its simple, sometimes terrifying and complicated beauty by knowing the motions, gestures, and small signals only the best poets observe and give back to us.
Jonis Agee – Author of The River Wife

A five-star review from Midwest Book Review on Amazon.

Review of Clear All the Rest of the Way at Minnesota Law and Politics.

Alexa Mergen’s review at the Rattle.

Ron Slate writes about Woessner’s book at On The Sea Wall

Poems from Clear All the Rest of the Way

Letter to Hilton From Madison

Dear Dave, It’s Saturday. The light
that never got to work is falling down
drunk on a stormy afternoon.
The two plum trees are in bloom
and shaking with wind and life.
The tulip patch which half-opened last week
is folding up like a church bazaar
caught in the rain.
Even the cat won’t go out today.
The roof leaks some.
The drops falling on a rag in a pot
sound like a hot engine cooling down.
Miles just finished blowing “Round About Midnight.”
I’m not sure if I’m lonely,
But I’m going to stick around and find out.
Maybe I’ll write some letters,
maybe some poems. Love, Warren.


We’re on the point watching
birds and they come out
and ask us to watch for men.
Seven gone eight days
too long on a walrus hunt.
Two small boats lost in the fog,
out of gas, radio dead,
maybe caught in the pack ice.
For days, east wind blowing hard
at Siberia.

Father Slwooko comes to sell ivory.
He says they got a walrus
for food, water off the ice,
it’s not too cold.
We ask will the search succeed.
He says, “They will have to find
themselves.”  We ask
how long they can last
out there. He says,
“How long can a man live?”

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