Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bill Holm's Last Reading

There was a Bill Holm reading last night. His last new book, The Chain Letter of the Soul has just been published. The reading had been scheduled before his death, as part of a series of readings at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Downtown Minneapolis. The book has some of his last poems, along with many of his other most memorable ones. A "posse of poets" were there to read them- Bill's fellow travelers- along with 400 or so of his close friends and admirers. It was almost all Bill, with just a few anecdotes sprinkled in, but mostly poems, those poems treasured by the readers. There were new poems, old poems, Boxelder Bug variations (from the BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN ABOUT BOXELDER BUGS!), poems of Iceland, and even the poem he wrote about the 35W bridge collapse, still so vivid in our memories. There was a pianist playing interludes between the readers; a very nice touch reflecting Bill's love for music.

A poet needs an audience, poems must be read aloud.

Bill had his last reading last night.

Others spoke his words, but it was Bill's voice we heard.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Rose said...

Once again I'm jealous of you Minnesota folks, and all of your opportunities. I have my copy, but haven't seriously read it yet. I treasure it already, and envy your chance to listen to the poems being read aloud by his friends.

If Bill Holm wasn't a tall tale, but was a real man--as we can testify to--who was Paul Bunyan? And John Henry?

Blogger Professor Batty said...

Rose ~ All of the readings were from that book, it really was special. Even Robert Bly (sitting in pew in picture) was about as ego-less as I've ever seen him. There will be a Bill Holm reader published eventually as well.

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