From JKS Director, Michelle Naka Pierce:
When reading Anselm Hollo’s book Guests of Space (Coffee House Press, 2007), one is immediately struck by the line, or perhaps I should say lines, 14 to be exact. Anselm’s sonnets—rich with humor and allusion, imbued with sorrow and beauty—are a veritable embodiment of knowing. The structures here act like Camillo’s Memory Theatre. We visitors are invited into a constructed space that triggers retrieval cues for topics as varied as Allen Ginsberg’s recommendation for states of mild depression to Robert Grenier’s I hate speech communiqué.
Anselm writes: “Reading is as much of an ART as writing.” And Guests of Space proves this, as it moves quickly from discourse to discourse, jump cutting and collage-ing one line to the next. His poetry employs the quotidian and the erudite. It code-switches; it challenges “official verse culture” with surface language play and wit, even in the midst of tenderness and grief. His sonnets are an open gesture for his guests, but be sure to bring your dictionary! Reading Anselm’s work is equivalent to getting an education (he even provides footnotes!)—but one that bucks mainstream canons and embraces avant-garde traditions.
Sometimes I see it as a straightforward
Drawled with a pendant and a rumen
Transfiguring the circulation of the worm.
That was a quote from our new Poet Laureate
Somewhat improved by seven up or down.
What do you remember? Please comment below.