Pick Up the House

Poetry by Anselm Hollo

October 1, 1986 • 6 x 9 • 112 pages • 978-0-918273-18-5

Anselm Hollo believes all his poems are part of a continuous song, and the music certainly continues in this graceful book. Pick Up the House gathers together poems written in England that have not appeared in book form, poems from Hollo’s Toothpaste Press chapbook Heavy Jars, and a healthy portion of new work. Hollo is a fixture in little magazines and in poetry workshops and readings around the country, and this book is further evidence that lyric poetry still sings in the pages of American literature.

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.


“Anselm Hollo’s Pick Up the House is a satisfying, lyrical mix of both old and new poems, including some from his highly praised Toothpaste Press chapbook Heavy Jars, gathered together in one volume. Hollo’s method is simple and direct. Written in an open colloquial style, his poems invite one to share in his commentary and intuition. Pausing often, he allows us to catch the music and grace in the trivial and seemingly commonplace. . . . This is reflective of Hollo’s real talent, a hand so sure and inviting that the reader can be led to the necessary conclusions. But it is in the short lyric 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. With more jukes and jumps than Michael Jordan, Hollo’s poetry continually confounds as well as exceeds the reader’s expectations.” —Independent Publisher