For "Last Night at the Wursthaus" by Doug Holder
|Courtesy of the Cambridge Historical Society
This is a small piece that Nina Rubinstein Alonso wrote for my new poetry collection "Last Night at the Wursthaus" due out Sept 1, 2017 from the Grey Sparrow Press. https://greysparrowpress.sharepoint.com/Pages/default.aspx
Nina is the founder of Constellations magazine based in Cambridge, MA.
For "Last Night at the Wursthaus" by Doug Holder
Introduction by Nina R. Alonso
One of Doug Holder’s poems quotes Heraclitus, “No man steps in the same river twice,” but his writing generates double-vision, the feeling of past as present, existing in the flow of continual change.
We’re in Harvard Square’s Wursthaus (now replaced by a faceless bank) overhearing the flow of vintage chatter, then watching a man scratch losing lottery tickets one after the other, then in a too quiet Harvard library where “caged scholars/circle their wired cages like rats/gnawing on manuscripts.” In Filene’s Basement he’s shopping, as “it was a place to go when you’re happy or desperately hurt.”
He shifts to the Bronx where ancient Jewish women sit on lawn chairs and his Uncle Dave called George Gershwin ‘a good kid.’ These people and places are familiar to me and to many of us who lived in the same space and island of time, understand eyes that see through our adult guise to what we were like in junior high: “You can’t/bullshit the blonde/ she knows.”
The book has integrity, cuts to heart center, but without a shred of excess. There’s no hype, no axe to grind, nothing being sold to us. We know his mother from our own, “At night/ the murmur of the dead/ hover around her bed.” I grew up in the neighborhood he rails against when he “screamed/ my screed/ against the suburbs/ the conspiracy of broad lawns/ and narrow minds.”
This world is under construction, bought and sold daily, repeatedly dug up, repaved, pieces erased, replaced and so full of invasive sales hype that we can’t even remember what was there before. We need this writer who sees and remembers to keep us centered, strengthen us, help us see what’s there, help us resist. Doug Holder’s writing has subtlety and substance, an authenticity that sustains.
BUY IT NOW HERE.."Last Night at the Wursthaus" by Doug Holder
****Nina Rubinstein Alonso, editor of Constellations
, has published in Ploughshares
, The New Yorker
, U. Mass. Review
, and New Boston Review
, among other places, and her first book This Body
was printed by Godine Press
She taught English literature at Brandeis University and U. Mass., Boston, while continuing training in ballet and exploring modern dance.
Saturated with academia, she taught at Boston Ballet for eleven years, and performed in their Nutcracker
, until sidelined by injuries. She makes her living teaching at Fresh Pond Ballet
in Cambridge, MA. She says, “Now is the time for fresh voices in poetry and fiction. I’m looking for a new constellation.”
See you next month...
r was born in Manhattan, N.Y. on July 5, 1955. A small press activist, he founded the Ibbetson Street Press in the winter of 1998 in Somerville, Mass. He has published over 50 books of poetry of local and national poets and over 20 issues of the literary journal Ibbetson Street.
Holder is the arts/editor for The Somerville News, a co-founder of "The Somerville News Writers Festival," and is the curator of the "Newton Free Library Poetry Series" in Newton, Mass. His interviews with contemporary poets are archived at the Harvard and the University of Buffalo libraries, as well as Poet's House in NYC. Holder's own articles and poetry have appeared in several anthologies including: Inside the Outside: An Anthology of Avant-Garde American Poets (Presa Press)Greatest Hits: twelve years of Compost Magazine (Zephyr Press) and America's Favorite Poems edited by Robert Pinsky.
His work has also appeared in such magazines as: Rattle, Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics and Poetry, Doubletake, Hazmat, The Boston Globe Magazine, Caesura, Sahara, Raintown Review, Poesy, Small Press Review, Artword Quarterly, Manifold (U.K.), Microbe ( Belguim),The Café Review, the new renaissance, Quercus Review, Northeast Corridor, and many others. His two recent poetry collections are: "Of All The Meals I Had Before..." ( Cervena Barva Press- 2007 ) and "No One Dies at the Au Bon Pain" ( sunyoutside-2007).
His collection "THE MAN IN THE BOOTH IN THE MIDTOWN TUNNEL" was released in the summer of 2008 by the Cervena Barva Press. It was a pick of the month in the Small Press Review (July/August 2008) He holds an M.A. in Literature from Harvard University.
Parial listings of books, taped interviews, etc... by Doug Holder in Worldcat, an international online catalogue of library holdings:http://www.worldcat.org/profiles/dougholder/lists/74013
To see a listing of Ibbetson Street books and the libraries that hold them click on to: http://www.worldcat.org/profiles/dougholder/lists/74047 Click on the title and scroll down to see in which libraries the title is held.
ARCHIVES - THE WORD by Doug Holder