Anselm Hollo


Caws & Causeries

Around Poetry and Poets

176 pages

6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 1-888809-15-9



Oh Didn't He Ramble excerpt


From Finland with Love by Roy Durfee


2001 United States Anti-Laureate announcement & acceptance missive



Poet Anselm Hollo has collected a number of his prose writings, including an autobiographical essay describing a remarkable odyssey from his native Finland via the U.S. to post-WW II Germany, Austria, and “Swinging Sixties” London, then back to the U.S. in 1967 to lead the life of an “itinerant scholar” for two decades in California, New York, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Utah, and Virginia, until he found his Ithaca in Boulder, Colorado, teaching at The Naropa Institute’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Other pieces in the collection, ranging from brief pieces (“caws”) to more extended “causeries” (informal essays), which include “Some Aereated Prose for a Panel on ‘experimental writing’;” “Gregorio the Herald” (a tribute to Gregory Corso); discussions of Finnish poet Pentti Saarikoski, British poets Tom Raworth, Christopher Middleton, and Douglas Oliver, French poet Francis Ponge; an extended section “From the Notebooks;” “What Was It Like: a Remembrance of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl;” and a sampling of a lifetime’s observations on the world of poetry and poets. What emerges is a lively, unabashedly opinionated, always personal poetics forged in association and friendship with numerous representatives of “The New American Poetry,” i.e. the Beats, the Black Mountain Poets, the New York School, the “Language” School, and the perennially unclassifiable and enigmatic.

Delving into Anselm Hollo’s notebook is like eating forbidden fruit . . . dribble down the chin, eyes closed in ecstasy . . . Part common reader, part essaying on poetry, talk, and lectures, here is the sparkling wit, the erudition, the tonic take-no-prisoners realism, the wisdom of a great poet. It’s a major gift to be privy to the intelligence behind the poems. Add another title to the great Corvus shelf.

— Andrei Codrescu