Naropa Magazine Spring 2013
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Anselm at Naropa

In Memoriam: Anselm Hollo

"When the medium of the art is language, as it is in writing, we are obliged to know (in the sense of being aware of) everything (or just about) that language has been used for in the past, in other cultures and civilizations. This awareness may be employed to decant contemporary subject matter into old bottles or it may lead to the construction of new kinds of vehicles or, simply, a new kind of nerve."—Anselm Hollo, from a panel on experimental writing, Kerouac School Summer session, July 1, 1996

Professor Anselm Hollo passed away in January following a long illness. Anselm was one of the pillars of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and a great friend to Naropa and beloved mentor to hundreds of students and an inspiring poet to countless readers around the world.

Poet, translator, and essayist, Anselm Hollo taught poetry and translation workshops and courses in literary studies. He authored more than forty books and chapbooks of poetry, including Notes on the Possibilities and Attractions of Existence: Selected Poems 1965–2000 (Coffee House, 2001). Other titles include Maya, Pick up the House, Corvus, and Guests of Space. His work has been widely anthologized and translated into Finnish, French, German, Swedish, and Hungarian. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in poetry, grants from The Fund for Poetry, and the Government of Finland's Distinguished Foreign Translator's Award, and the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry.

"Naropa University has lost an extraordinary professor and friend," shares Naropa President Charles Lief. "Anselm exuded European culture, Beat truth telling, and ordinary human kindness and grace. He was a fearless and outspoken poet-warrior and will be greatly missed by our community and the big world he so profoundly touched."

"Anselm Hollo arrived at Naropa in 1985 at a very key time in the development of our year-round MFA program. He brought his vast knowledge of surrealism, European poetics, experimental poetics, and translation to the classroom and deftly took students through those poetic paths," says Anne Waldman, professor, co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and artistic director of the Summer Writing Program. "A much loved member of the large and distinct community of Front Range poets, we will all keep strong the memory of the twinkle in his blue eyes, his wry sense of humor, and deep and resonant laugh. We are in gratitude for the panoramic poetics wisdom he generously shared with us these many years. We loved him and his poetry."

Anselm's wife, Jane Dalrymple-Hollo, and children, Kaarina and Tamsin, were with him during what Jane described as a peaceful death. Naropa has lost another of our treasures, who will be greatly missed. A memorial for Anselm will take place on July 7 during the 2013 Summer Writing Program. Listen to Anselm read his poetry