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Corvus

Poems by Anselm Hollo

“I await Anselm’s new poems with more eagerness than those of any other living poet. His work is ‘news that stays news,’ a poetic gazette that is one of our times most accurate neural readouts. If you can’t remember your way to your heart, Anselm’s poems will show you.” —Andrei Codrescu

November 1995
6 x 9 | 96 pages
Paperback Original

ISBN: 978-1-56689-039-7.

$11.95

Description

“Ironic in-jokey, post-beat hipster and quietly beautiful lyricist, avant-gardist Hollo (Outlying Districts) graciously draws readers to his work in these poems through both the copious notes supplied with many of them and the gently funny, probing tone assumed throughout. The opening poem “1991,” an elegy to his sister, moves in a moment from dark reflection, “At the rites we think of the old days when belief/ made words reach the dead/ a resonance / gone,” to light, “OK Sis/ now of no fixed address in the kingdom of Dis/ Miz Ubi Sunt,” never failing to carry us along. Hollo often quotes, invokes or directly addresses the poets of his waning generation (Ed Sanders, Robert Creeley, the late Ted Berrigan) or plays himself off poets of all ages and languages, many of whom (Yevtushenko, Brecht, Allen Ginsberg) he has translated into English or Finnish. His preoccupations with literature are woven into reflections in which we spot our more articulate selves; never trite or off-balance, these are poems that sustain.” —Publishers Weekly

Awards

1995 Colorado Book Award for Poetry Finalist

Reviews

“I await Anselm’s new poems with more eagerness than those of any other living poet. His work is ‘news that stays news,’ a poetic gazette that is one of our times most accurate neural readouts. If you can’t remember your way to your heart, Anselm’s poems will show you.” —Andrei Codrescu

“The bedrock solidness of Anselm Hollo’s poems makes as ever a place of refuge and delight in these meager times. Thank God for his humor, else we’d all be dead.” —Robert Creeley

“Here is a poet capable of teaching the curious how to read what some would still call avant-garde poetry. These poems are snips and snaps of contemporary life run together with a taut gathering stitch and played off against particular moments and figures in the history of ideas, literature, and politics. This dexterous and often humorous interplay creates moments of surprise, as in “Why There Is A Cat Curfew In Our House.” The poem, an energetic narrative about a family of raccoons coming in through the cat door late at night, ends with a wry nod to the desire for more: “& if I were a Victorian poet there’d be a moral/but late in my century all I can say/is that she did of course remind me of my mother.” Notes at the back help unlock the references for those who are not content to just go along for the ride.” —The Boston Review

“Post-hipster wit and lyricist Anselm Hollo has always had the world’s lightest touch when it comes to balancing a poem on the invisible wire between sentimental openness and ironic judgement.” —Tom Clark, San Francisco Chronicle