Monday, February 10, 2014

NYC Poet Bob Holman's Tribute to Van Gogh & Monet

Bob Holman, so-called “Dean of the Scene,” is a central figure in the New York City spoken-word poetry community. He was born in Harlan, Kentucky, and grew up in Ohio. He earned a BA at Columbia University and also studied at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Bernadette Mayer.     

In 2002 Holman founded the Bowery Poetry Club and, with linguists Daniel Kaufman and Juliette Blevins, the Endangered Language Alliance. He also produced the PBS series The United States of Poetry and several audio recordings of his own work, including The Awesome Whatever (2007). He has taught at Columbia and New York universities.

Holman is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Picasso in Barcelona (2011), Bob Holman’s The Collect Call of the Wild (1995), and Tear to Open: This This This … (1979). He co-edited the collaboration Crossing State Lines: An American Renga (2011, with Carol Muske-Dukes), The United States of Poetry (1996, with Joshua Blum and Mark Pellington), and ALOUD! Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (1994, with Miguel Algarin).       Numerous anthologies have included his work, including Spoken Word Revolution (2003), Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam (2001), and Up Late: American Poetry Since 1970 (1988). He co-translated The Book of Sana’a: Poetry of Abd Al-aziz Al-maqalih (2004, with Sam Liebhaber) and also translated poet Er Zhang’s Carved Water (2003). Check out his blog at

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life with Apples, 1887-88

Perfectly Great

It would be great
To eat an apple
But there in the tree
It is perfect

Claude Monet, Sunset in Venice, 1908


This morning I raised my eye 

And saw the stars

Had not moved

Sweet Death, my Love,

I will never lose you again

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