Doug Holder: Doug Holder was born in New York City in 1955. A small press activist, he founded the Ibbetson Street Press in the winter of 1998 in Somerville, Mass. He has published over 60 books of poetry of local and national poets and 27 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 (founded in 2003)," and is the curator of the "Newton Free Library Poetry Series" in Newton, Mass. His recorded interviews with contemporary poets are archived at the Harvard, and the University of Buffalo libraries, as well as Poet's House in NYC. In Dec. of 2007 he was a guest of the Voices Israel Literary organization and lead workshops and gave readings in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. 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),FRESH GRASS: 32 INDEPENDENT POETS 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, The Home Planet News, Hazmat, The Boston Globe Magazine, Caesura, Sahara, Raintown Review, Poesy, Small Press Review, Artword Quarterly, Manifold (U.K.), Long Island Quarterly, 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). In 2009 he released a collection of interviews: " From the Paris of New England: Interviews with Poets and Writers." In 2010, Holder's collection: "Poems from the Left Bank: Somerville, Mass." was published by Alternating Current ( Cambridge, Mass.) It was selected for a New and Noteworthy Book on NEW PAGES. His poetry and prose has been translated into French and Spanish. He holds an M.A. in Literature from Harvard University, and has taught writing at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. and Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.
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.
Lead article in The Boston Globe Arts section: POETIC HEALING AS THE HOSPITAL AND ITS CLIENTS HAVE CHANGED, COUNSELOR DOUGLAS HOLDER ADDS ANOTHER DIMENSION (Feb 2000) For full article go to: http://tinyurl.com/dx4xa2 Boston Globe Archive http://www.tinyurl.com/yohcgr
From an interview with Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish ( Boldfacers.com):
"A couple of gifted local poets inspire poet laureate Sam Cornish to put the pen down: Doug Holder and Harris Gardner. Both appear regularly at poetry slams and readings."
Kathleen Spivack ( Permanent Visiting Professor of Creative Writing/ American Literature at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. ) "Your work is totally beautiful"
The Boston Globe: "The de facto poet laureate of Somerville."
Lawrence Kessenich (former editor at Houghton Mifflin/Boston and author of "Strange News"): " I love your poetry, your sense of humor, and your dedication to keeping poetry alive."
Pamela Annas, PhD. (Associate Dean of Humanities. U/Mass Boston):
"You’ve done an immense amount in making the Boston area poetry scene a genuine community."
Main Street Rag-- (S. Craig Renfroe, Jr.):
"Aside from being the founder, publisher, and co-editor of the prestigious and influential Ibbetson Street Press, Doug Holder writes poetry with a passion and insight that deserves prestige and influence all its own."
Clayton Eshleman-- ( National Book Award, and author of "The Complete Poetry of Cesar Vallejo"): "...in appreciation for your work for the art of poetry."
Askia Toure-- ( American Book Award 1989 "From the Pyramids to the Projects") commenting on Holder's literary journalism:
" ...outstanding work. I've always considered you as a humane and dedicated literary artist, and an ally."
Eric Greinke-- ( Publisher Presa Press):
" Doug is known and admired for his tireless efforts to promote poetry. His work reveals the universal as reflected in personal experience, and it is accessible to non-literary readers. Doug Holder brings a much needed positive energy to the poetry scene."
Daniel Tobin -- ( Chair of the Dept. of Writing, Literarture and Publishing--Emerson College, Boston, Mass.)
" In gratitude for your work and all you do in behalf of the art."
Susie Davidson-- (Jewish Advocate):
"He is a poetry and small press impresario of mythic stature."
Anne Elizabeth Tom: ( Director of the Cape Cod Writers' Center):
" When the Ibbetson Street Press published my poetry in the Fall of 2002, it was such an affirmation of my work!"
Jan Gardner ( The Boston Globe):
"Doug Holder, a poet and unflagging booster of Somerville's literary scene."
Patricia Wild ( Columnist. The Somerville Journal):
" Chances are you know Doug Holder, know of him or know someone who has been published by his Ibbetson Street Press. Poet, writer, arts editor of The Somerville News, producer of a writers' interview show..., tireless promoter of Ibbetson's lastest offering, Doug is as much a fixture in this community as Green cabs or Lyndell's Bakery."
For the full article: http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2008/01/hear-israel-voices-o-somerville-bard-by.html
Stanley H. Barkan ( Cross-Cultural Communications):
"I greatly appreciate Doug's taking the time to be an audience and an interviewer for Aeronwy Thomas ( Dylan Thomas' daughter)...His writing shows that the work of Dylan Thomas and those associated with him are of value to those who may agree with Oscar Wilde that "all art is quite useless," but still feel that we die for lack of it. Many Thanks, Doug."
Barbara Trachtenberg ( PEN FREEDOM TO WRITE PRISON WRITING PROGRAM):
" I truly loved your poems, each one, each last line, the dry, understatements and other kinds of humor, and more."
Nominated for 2 Pushcart Prizes-- 2007 - for the poems "Eating Out" from his collection "Of All The Meals I Had Before." ( Cervena Barva Press) and "No One Dies At The Au Bon Pain" from the collection of the same title. ( sunnyoutside)
For over a decade Holder ran poetry groups for patients at McLean Hospital. The hospital has been declared a national literary landmark as Plath, Lowell, and Sexton were patients there and the hospital certainly provided material for their work. For Holder's article on Poetry.About.Com go to: http://poetry.about.com/od/poetryaroundtheworld/a/holderpsychward.html
IBBETSON STREET PRESS has published to date (Aug 2008) over 50 poetry collections/books by local and national poets. Most recently : "Steerage" by Bert Stern, "The Evening Watch" by Cameron Mount, "The Wren's Cry" by Dorian Brooks, "The Woods Have Words" by Mignon Ariel King, "Self-Portrait with Severed Head," CD Collins , "Time Leaves," Barbara Bialick, "Blood Soaked Dresses," Gloria Mindock, "Washing The Stones," Linda Larson, "Manufacturing America..." Lisa Beatman, "Promise Supermarket," Elizabeth Quinlan, "From Mist to Shadow," Robert K. Johnson, "Outposts" by Abbott Ikeler, "Cyclamens and Swords" by Helen Bar Lev and Johnmichael Simon , "Louisa Solano : The Grolier Poetry Book Shop" ( edited by Doug Holder/ Steve Glines). "Bagel Bard 3", anthology, etc...
Afaa Michael Weaver ( author of "Plum Flower Dance" and Pushcart Prize winner-2008 ) commenting on Holder's collection "Wrestling With My Father,":
"With words carefully etched into the touchstone of a father's love, Holder looks back to directly grasp, sans sentimentality, the struggle of men to be fathers and sons. In lines that are spare and piercing, like the thin rays of truth that linger long after the weighing of successes and failures in the lives of men, Holder evokes his father, resurrects him, not as whole phantasm but as whole human, alive in the bonds of trust generated by a son's love."
Robert Olen Butler (Pulitzer Prize Winner- "A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain") commenting on Holder's collection of poetry: "Wrestling With My Father:"
"I’ve been greatly enjoying your poems. You have a major league talent, man."
Martha Collins ( Professor of Creative Writing-Oberlin College, and author of "Blue Front,") (Gray Wolf Press) commenting on "Wrestling With My Father"
":--so I did get this, at Porter Square, (Books) and found it wonderfully moving. My one and only chapbook is about my mother in her final years: more about those years than, as in yours, a whole life with a parent--but the emotions surrounding parental loss are near and dear to my heart. Thanks for heading me that way."
PAMELA ANNAS ( Professor of English U/MASS BOSTON and author of "Disturbance on Mirrors: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath" writing about Holder's collection "The Man In The Booth In The Midtown Tunnel):
"I’m reminded in the pages of this collection of meeting, a year or two before her death, the artist Alice Neel, who painted gorgeously surreal ironic portraits of famous and ordinary people in the 1930s and 40s--and shivering as she looked me over. Doug Holder looks at the world through a similarly sharp and amused set of eyes. Yet there is no malice but a profound sympathy here—for the helplessness of aging and of poverty, for physical and mental illnesses, for the complexity of family relations—and most of all, for the isolation and loneliness lurking underneath tenaciously crowded city life. In the title poem of the collection, the man in the booth in the Midtown Tunnel “paces the perimeter/ Of his cage” while outside the cars whip by: “And we are/ Faceless and a blur,/ Behind thick plates/ Of light-bleached glass.”
Ruth Wisse (Ruth R. Wisse, Harvard College Professor, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature , and Professor of Comparative Literature) commeting on Holder's: "Food as a symbol of the conflict of assimilation and alienation in the fiction of Henry Roth."
"I frankly did not excpect when the subject was first articulated that it would yield so rich a body of information about Roth's progress as a writer (and a self-conscious Jew)."
DON WINTER ( Editor of "Fight These Bastards")
"The Man in the Booth in the Midtown Tunnel (by Doug Holder) is the type of book that might bridge the aesthetic gap between popular culture, which often does not acknowledge the existence of the fine arts, and the usually snobbish intelligentsia, which rarely acknowledges the existence of popular culture."
Richard Hoffman ( Writer-in-Residence- Emerson College, Boston, author of "Half House: A Memoir")
"...with thanks for all you do for poets and poetry."
DAN WUENSCHEL (Manager Grolier Poetry Book Shop-- Harvard Square):
"Hope all is well! Thanks for your confidence and encouragement, they mean
so much to me. I hope you realize how much I and Ifeanyi appreciate all the
work you do, too, which I know isn't often recognized and is just as
challenging as what we're trying to do at Grolier."
SAM CORNISH (BOSTON POET LAUREATE):
" You are the heart and soul of this town."
Ada Aharoni (Professor of Comparative Literature-Haifa University) commenting on Holder's collection "Of All the Meals I Had Before":
"This is indeed one of the most succulent meals I have had! With warm gratitude for such a tasty experience!"
Ajume H. Wingo ( Professor of Philosophy- U/Mass Boston, author of "Veil Politics in Liberal Democratic States")
"I have started reading your thought-provoking and eye-popping poems."
Lorraine Roses ( Professor of Spanish -Wellesley College), in a letter to Doug Holder:
"You deserve an award for bringing culture to the "people," of whom I am one."
Wendy Blom (Director of Somerville Community Access TV):
"I think Doug Holder provides an excellent service to the larger writer community in Somerville...He's really a dynamo in support of Somerville writers and readers."
Laurel Johnson ( Midwest Book Review)
"Holder’s work... is rich with textual imagery. A stranger’s laugh becomes an “astringent mixture of the hilarious and sinister.” Rain is a “spectral tapping on the roof.” These are words of a master poet who sees the world clearly and shares that vision generously with readers."
Errol Lincoln Uys: ( former international editor for Reader's Digest and author of "Brazil")
" With admiration for your dedication and unstinting support for poets and writers. Your sincere and selfless work is appreciated."
Peter Eden , Ph.D. (Dean of Arts and Sciences--Endicott College). " I can't thank you enough for how you helped us to elevate the arts at Endicott College."
John Shea: ( Huntington Theatre Playwright Fellow-Boston, Mass., and author of the play "Comp"):
"Thank you for the volume of poetry you gave me at the our first meeting. The piece about the mother alone at the table wondering what she did in life to end up as she was, was beautiful and very sad, touching. It is the kind of simplicity I seek out in movies, drama and literature. It's real and full of emotion. Hopefully I reach some of that in my characters."
Tom Sexton ( Former Poet Laureate of Alaska) : " To all your good work."
"Wrestling With My Father" (Yellow Pepper Press 2005), a poetry collection of Holder's, was a pick of the month in the "Small Press Review"
*A member of the Poets Advisory Board for the "Poetry Outreach Project." ( Mass. Cultural Council.)
* A founding member of the "Pushcart Prize Fellowship."
"Ibbetson Street" is listed in: "The Index of American Periodical Verse."
Holder's interview concerning Jack Kerouac with Louisa Solano, former owner of the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., is excerpted in "Empty Phantoms: Interviews and Encounters with Jack Kerouac" by Paul Maher, Jr.( Thunder's Moon Press (Avalon)--2005-- NY)
Holder was selected to be the judge for Israel's Reuben Rose Poetry Award in Dec. 2007:
*This international competition is in memory of Reuben Rose (1921-1989), former Editor and one of the founding members of Voices Israel. Reuben Rose believed in encouraging new poets and helping as many people as possible to enjoy the language of poetry. Year 2006 marks the 17th Annual Competition in his honor; judges are always known published poets
For a report about the event in "Sketchbook" magazine by Israeli poet Helen Bar
Lev go to: http://bostonareasmallpressreview.blogspot.com
A quote from a review of his new collection: "No One Dies At The Au Bon Pain:" ( http://www.sunnyoutside.com )
* Jared Smith ( Advisory Board of the New York Quarterly)
" We are a marked and confused society. And Doug feels the pain and the pun, the twist of the knife through bread and flesh. The Au Bon Pain is a chain of cafes, and no one dies in cafes at leisure. But of course, they do…as every moment and every bit of flesh taken in works its way down into the bone--"
For a full review in the Small Press Review July/Aug 2007 of Holder's two new collections: "Of All The Meals I Had Before." and "No One Dies at the Au Bon Pain." go to:
Unconventional Views of Boston
"Doug embraces the extraordinary moments in everyday life with a wry sense of humor and a sage glimpse at truth. From Last Night at the Wursthaus on the closing of a long-time Cambridge restaurant, to Rotisserrie Chicken at the Star Market, to 3 a.m. on the Psych Ward, about one of his experiences working at McLean Hospital, Doug weaves minute details of circumstance into a rich tapestry of common human experience."
Robin Clarke Poet/ Co-Host Poetry Sessions at O'Shea's/ West Dennis, Mass.
Recent Featured Readings:
Club Passim (Harvard Square, Cambridge)- Celebration of Somerville's Small Presses. Grolier Poetry Reading Series ( Adams House-Harvard University), Simmons College (Trustman Gallery- "tnr" reading), New England Poetry Club ( Yen Ching Library-Harvard University), Boston University (Hillel House), Boston National Poetry Festival ( Boston Public Library), MIT ( Facets Magazine Reading), Stone Soup Poets ( Out of the Blue Art Gallery-(Cambridge), Borders Books--Boston ( Tapestry of Voices), Warwick Art Museum, Warwick, R.I. ( Tapestry of Voices), Somerville Museum (Somerville, Mass.), Grolier Poetry Book Shop ( Re-opening reading-- Cambridge, Mass.), Porter Square Books-- Cambridge ( June 2006), McIntyre and Moore Books ( Somerville, Mass.), Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.), Wordsworth Books-Harvard Square, Pucker Gallery, (Newbury St. Boston), Jimmy Tingle Off Broadway Theatre-Somerville, Mass., The Somerville Theatre, ( Davis Sq.-Somerville, Mass.) Waterstone Books-Boston, Newton Free Library, Endicott College-Beverly, Mass., WOMR ( Poet's Corner) Provincetown, Mass. radio, Schoenhof's Books ( Harvard Square), City Nights Reading Series, Cambridge, Mass., The Literati Scene with Smoki Bacon and Dick Concannon ( Boston Cable TV show), Neighborhood Network News (NNN) ( Boston Cable TV at Boston University), It's All About Arts Janice & Glenn Williams ( Boston Cable TV),
Cape Cod Poets Theatre, ZOA HOUSE Tel Aviv, Israel (Voices Israel- International Reuben Rose Award 2007), Monet's Garden Reading Series Beverly, Mass., Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, Mass., Stone Pigeon Poetry Series, Portsmouth, NH., "Squawk " Reading/Music Series, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., Grange Hall Poetry Series, Cape Cod, Mass., Cape Cod Writers Center Conference, Somerville Creative Arts Festival ( 2008), James Gate Poetry Series ( Jamaica Plain, Mass), Gallery 55 ( Natick, Mass.), Portsmouth, NH Poet Laureate Program (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), Plymouth Center for the Arts, Plymouth, Mass., Mystic Activity Center "Books of Hope" project Somerville, Mass., Harvard Extension Alumni Association: Publishing Panel, Nave Gallery (Somerville, Mass.), New England Poetry Club ( Publishing panel with Cervena Barva Press, and Off the Coast), Cafe Nation ( Boston, Mass.), Reading with Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish, City Laureate Reading Series, Boston City Hall ,(Aug 2009), Brockton Poetry Society, Brockton, Mass.( Aug 2009), KGB BAR, NYC, Portsmouth,NH City Laureate Series, Mass. Poetry Festival ( Oct., 2009), Cornelia Street Cafe NY,NY ( Dec 2009), Cambridge Populist Poetry Festival ( April 2010)
and many more....
For an interview with Doug Holder on Cervena Barva Press go to: http://www.cervenabarvapress.com/holderinterview.htm
For a partial list of Holder's interviews with contemporary poets, books I have edited, and written, that are archived at Harvard University go to: http://lms01.harvard.edu/F/IBNPCPAVUXI83EV9NKPK2CHA4LVHYMRAPC3AU93918VMQ7E384-16335? (enter "Doug Holder" on key word.)
Holder founded THE SOMERVILLE NEWS WRITERS FESTIVAL along with Tim Gager. To find out more about this year's festival (Nov 11 2007) go to: http://somervillenewswritersfestival.com
Check out Holder's blog: BOSTON AREA SMALL PRESS AND POETRY SCENE: http://www.dougholder.blogspot.com
** Many of Holder's interviews on the cable TV show "Poet to Poet/Writer To Writer" are archived at Harvard University. ( Lamont Library Poetry Room) For more information on my interview series go to: http://www.poettopoetwritertowriter.blogspot.com
Watch an interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6JFPAKUJT0
Robert Creeley ( Wilderness House Literary Retreat), Lois Ames ( Biographer of Sexton and Plath -- Poet to Poet/Writer to Writer-Somerville Community Access TV), Afaa Michael Weaver ( author of: "Plum Flower Dance"-- Poet to Poet...) Lan Samantha Chang ( Director of the Iowa Writers Workshop -- The Somerville News), Tom Perrotta ( author of : "Little Children" The Somerville News), Pagan Kennedy ( The Middlesex Beat), Mort Sahl ( Political Comedian-- The Somerville News), Sarah Hannah ( author of "Longing Distance"-- Poet to Poet...) Steve Almond ( author of "Candyfreak," The Somerville News), Martha Collins ( author of "Blue Front"-- Poet to Poet...) Shay Duffin ( Actor-"Confessions of an Irish Rebel" The Somerville News.) Tino Villanueva. ( Poet to Poet...) Claire Messud ( author of: "The Emperor's Children."-- The Somerville News), Mark Pawlak (Hanging Loose Press- Poet to Poet), Dick Lourie ( Hanging Loose Press-- The Somerville News), Charles Coe( Mass. Cultural Council- Poet to Poet...), C. Michael Curtis--( Atlantic Fiction editor-- The Littleton Independent ), Errol Uys ( author of "Brazil"--Somerville Community Access TV), Ed Sanders ( "Tales of Beatnik Glory"-- The Somerville News), Steve Cramer ( Poet and Director of Lesley University Low Residency MFA program), Mark Doty ( "Fire to Fire"- The Somerville News ),Richard Hoffman ( Writer-in-Residence--Emerson College, author of : Half the House: A Memoir-The Somerville News), Aeronwy Thomas ( Poet and Daughter of Dylan Thomas- Boston Area Small Press/Poetry Scene), Eva Salzman ( author of Double Crossings: New and Selected Poems, and co-editor of Women's Work: Modern Women Poets Writing in English), Charles Plymell ( legendary Beat Generation Poet), Clayton Eshleman (acclaimed translator of Cesar Vallejo), Gerald Richman ( Annotated Bibliography of Fiction Set in Boston) John Amen ( founder of Pedestal Magazine), Gary Metras (founder of the Adastra Press), Sam Cornish (Boston Poet Laureate), Eve Bridburg ( Founder of Grub St) Fred Marchant ( Founder of the Suffolk University Poetry Center-Boston, Mass.)
"From the Paris of New England: Interviews with Poets and Writers" (with an introduction by the curator of the University of Buffalo Poetry Collection, Mike Basinski):
" We have here simply much, much more than a collection of Doug Holder's interviews. We have here more than his superior vision that all the poetry is unified and that all of poetry is one poetry flush hot and red from the imagination. Here poets are people from different walks and different, defiant lives and in fact, it is from all walks of living that poetry ascends. Let's get walking? Door to door."
For an article about the TV show go to: http://www.tinyurl.com/6awzr5
Holder is the book review editor for the "Wilderness House Literary review' http://whlreview.com
*** Holder is availabe for poetry workshops and talks. He is experienced working with school-aged children, psychiatric populations, and others. My rates are reasonable." Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org 617-628-2313
Former member of the advisory board of "the new renaissance" literary magazine. http://tnrlitmag.net Established affiliation with Endicott College, and was involved with community outreach.
Resident Member of the Boston Authors Club ( 2008-)