Author: Anselm Hollo
Publisher: Coffee House Press (1990)
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.
“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