Stone Altars is a book of poems by an aging man still engaged in asking fundamental questions never to be answered which have haunted him since boyhood. It is a poetry of sea sun and sky trees rocks streams and hills of loss time death and memory friends lovers and families. It seeks in forms the resonance they offer from the past how their sounds and shapes expand meaning beyond what words alone can say. It searches in stories and writings from various sacred traditions for images and metaphors which can still be borrowed for serious thought in poetry today. The old questions suffice and endure: mortality the brevity of all human life but particularly of youth the tragic beauty of the world love's pain and beneficence the call to compassion. These are the themes that recur in Stone Altars that its poems brood about and ponder in ways always attentive to the particular faithful to Pound's great admonition: Go in fear of abstractions.
Peter Weltner has published five books of fiction including The Risk of His Music and How the Body Prays three poetry chapbooks three collaborations with the artist Galen Garwood most recently Water's Eye and three full length collections of poems News from the World at My Birth: A History The Outerlands and To the Final Cinder the latter two from Brickhouse Books. His poems and stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines and journals and several national anthologies including two O. Henry's in 1993 and 1998. A graduate of Hamilton College and Indiana University he taught for thirty seven years at San Francisco State University. He and his husband Atticus Carr live in San Francisco steps away from the Pacific.
"Always moving sometimes heartrending Weltner's poetry captures what it is to be human. It is a humane poetry without artificiality a poetry that accepts without reservation the whipsaw of joy and pain we all must live through. Despite its title there are no cinders here but live coals glowing with life." - Bradley R. Strahan editor Visions International author of This Art of Losing.
"Formal. Beautiful. Tough. Intricate. Musical. In love with language and music. Romantic. Strong. Homoerotic. Intelligent. Excellent. Flowing. Tight.Descriptive. Narrative. Emotional. Internal world of memory and imagination. Dedication. Serious. Dedication to beauty. Meaning. Formal. Excessive. Glamorous. Finds love and passion in the sea hunger in dust. Urgent. Moral. Difficult. Strong and painful. Loss. Beauty rescues. Desire. Symphonic. Sad. Ambitious. Large and brave. I feel breathless and sad that the world I live in doesn't care or is avoiding the size scale bounty moral rigor and passion of our lives that can be found here." - Linda Gregg author of All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems