Friends Of Bill (Holm)
There was a tribute to Bill Holm Tuesday night. Minnesota Public Radio graciously hosted this get-together celebrating Bill and his life at the Fitzgerald theater (the home of Prairie Home Companion, the radio show that Bill appeared on numerous times.) Bill has been featured here at FITK several times.
Many of Bill's close friends- fellow poets, musicians and writers- assembled on stage in a rousing start to the ceremonies and downed shots of Icelandic Vodka with the audience members in the "spirit" of Bill. There were many stories about Bill, Bill on tape, and Bill's poetry read by others. His publisher of 25 years, Emilie Buchwald, spoke at length about their relationship and announced that there will be one more book of poetry by Bill coming out.
Phebe Hanson, a poet who toured Minnesota with Bill
in the Poetry Out Loud series in the 1970s,
gently chastised Bill for breaking his promise to her-
a promise to sing an old Norwegian hymn at her funeral!
Dan Chouinard and Maria Jette performed duets
of classical music that Bill loved.
Robert Bly read a new poem about Bill. Twice.
At the end a brass band led everybody out with a
New Orleans-style version of The Sweet Bye and Bye.
As I walked out into the balmy night air the cold hard winter
seemed but a distant memory; but the spirit of Bill was within us all.