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Publish Date: February 2004
Playing the Black Piano
BY Bill Holm
In this new collection, noted essayist Bill Holm (Coming Home Crazy, Eccentric Islands, The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth) returns to his true love—poetry. Like a modern-day Walt Whitman bestriding America and the world, Holm comments on the waywardness and promise of the human species. Playing the Black Piano reflects Holms time in Iceland (his ancestral home), his ongoing love affair with music, a friends death from AIDS, and his bold reactions to the world around him. Moving from Oregon forests to the deserts around Tucson, from the endless marketing of long-distance telephone service to the experience of undergoing an MRI, the poems speak of this mans full embrace of the world and his passion for living well.
OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:
“It isn't the kind of book you simply read cover to cover and then place it back on the shelf. It's the kind of book you keep next to the night stand or next to your favorite recliner. Holm's newest book will touch your heart and spirit.”—Timothy Douglass, Advocate Tribune
"Bill Holm is not only one of the finest poets in North America, but (let me not mince words) he is now expressing his view of the world in the finest poems he has ever written. Holm's ears are tuned right, and his poems about music are particularly accomplished . . . . Here is the heat and fire of music, by God, in words—words that are kneaded through Holm's rough fingers . . . . In these poems, Holm is playing the black piano for the rest of us with a power and an eloquence that is breathtaking.”—Eric Friesen, Star Tribune
“It appears Bill Holm is keeping the angel of death away.”—Linda Piwowarczyk, Suburban Chicago Newspapers
“Holm celebrates the free market of music, from Schubert, Gould and Tatum to musical beggars on Wuhan's Luoshi Road in China.”—Minnesota Monthly
“Holm is a musician as well as a poet. He fills his work with wonderful music, and with snapshots of his travels . . . . We flip past Iceland to China, the Dakotas, Greece, Alaska, Madagascar and Manhattan . . . by the time we reach the book's title poem, Death comes in a flurry, as Holm plays preludes and fugues, such as Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven”—Philadelphia Inquirer