Outlying Districts

Poetry by Anselm Hollo

January 1, 1990 • 6 x 9 • 112 pages • 978-0-918273-76-5

Hollo’s witty, cosmopolitan, self-deprecating lyrics inspires trust in his original blend of ironic wit & sentimentality.

Anselm Hollo views all of his work as one unbroken song, and in his new collection of poems, Outlying Districts, the music continues to resonate. His understated and occasionally self-deprecating lyrics (“fill in the blank is bigger than 20 poets”) has established Hollo as a credible contemporary voice that is not about to deliver phony nuggets of wisdom. Thus when Hollo writes “that grace still exists,” we believe him. A master at blending ironic wit and sentimentality, Hollo’s work never loses its bittersweet sense of song.

About the Author

Anselm Hollo authored more than forty books and was an award-winning translator. He was born in Helsinki, Finland. After ten years in England writing and broadcasting for the BBC European Services, Hollo settled in the United States in 1966. He enthusiastically contributed to the American literary community as a poet, teacher, and award-winning translator. Fluent in German, Swedish, Finnish and English by age ten, Hollo made a significant contribution to modern letters as a translator. Hollo was widely published in little magazines, and his books include Sojourner Microcosms (Blue Wine Press) and No Complaints (Toothpaste Press); his translations include Red Cats (City Lights) and collections by Haavikko (Cape Goliard/Grossman) and Pentti Saarikoski (Toothpaste Press).

Hollo taught at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. His collection of poems, Notes on the Possibilities and Attractions of Existence, received the San Francisco Poetry Center Award.


“Hollo is an epic poet . . . Against explosions of carnage and fear, there is a persistence that is as close to heroic as I can imagine. It continues! Improvisational humor, smarter’n paint, counterpoints a profoundly moral pulse. Equity. Compassion. Tenderness. He writes . . . out of hipness that knows staying alive was always a matter of exploiting the unexpected.” St. Mark’s Poetry Project Newsletter

“For three decades Anselm Hollo has been an important figure on the intercultural poetry scene. In Outlying Districts we see how his original work has been enriched, both technically and in content, by the contact he has had with European poets through his impressive translations.” —James Laughlin

“. . . it is in the short lyrics where Hollo excels, with a sense of line derived from Williams and Creeley and a sense of humor straight from the New York school, he captures the possibilities of transient moments, becoming both commentator and object of comment.” —John Stickney, Small Press

“Anselm Hollo’s so sly and subtle he almost melts in your mind.” —Richard Silberg, Poetry Flash