Anselm Hollo Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Anselm Hollo (HAH-low) early established himself as an important literary translator, bringing into English the works of Russian, Finnish, and Swedish poets in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Authors he translated included Andrei Voznesensky, Aleksandr Blok, and Paul Klee. The genres he has translated range the gamut from poetry and fiction to nonfiction, plays, and screenplays. In his translations from Russian, he collaborated with his mother, Iris Walden-Hollo. He also has translated into Finnish and German the works of such varied authors as Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William Carlos Williams, and John Lennon. In his translations into German, he several times collaborated with Josephine Clare.

In collaboration with Corso and Tom Raworth, he wrote parodies collected in The Minicab War (1961). His critical and autobiographical essays appeared in Caws and Causeries: Around Poetry and Poets (1999). Hollo’s editing work has included a guest stint with London magazine Horde (1964) and the anthology Modern Swedish Poetry in Translation (1979), with Gunnar Harding.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Anselm Hollo has repeatedly received the praise of such notable poets as Ted Berrigan and Andrei Codrescu, with the latter calling him “indispensable.” While often identified with Language poetry, a movement sometimes seen to have antiacademic and antiauthoritarian leanings, Hollo has nevertheless earned notable awards from both academia and formal poetry and arts organizations. In 1976, he was awarded the New York State Creative Artists’ Public Service Award. This was followed in 1979 with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry, in 1989 and 1991 with the Fund for Poetry Award for Contributions to Contemporary Poetry, and in 1996 with the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry. For Notes on the Possibilities and Attractions of Existence, he was awarded the 2001 San Francisco State University Poetry Center Award.

His work as a translator has garnered him considerable attention. In 1981 and 1989, he received the American-Scandinavian Foundation Award for Poetry in Translation, and, in 1996, the Finnish Government Prize for Translation of Finnish Literature. In 2004, he received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for his translation of Trilogy by Pentti Saarikoski. His own poetry has been translated into Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, and Swedish.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Cline, Lynn. “Anselm Hollo’s Poetry Speaks Volumes.” The Santa Fe New Mexican, May 13, 2001. Cline writes about the poet’s views on “life outside the box,” based on Hollo’s lectures.

Foster, Edward Halsey. Postmodern Poetry: The Talisman Interviews. Hoboken, N.J.: Talisman House, 1994. In Foster’s interview with Hollo, the poet discusses his work and influences. Foster places Hollo alongside such figures as Alice Notley, Ron Padgett, and Rosemarie Waldrop.

Hollo, Anselm. Postmodern Poetry: The Talisman Interviews. Interview by Edward Halley Foster. Hoboken, N.J.: Talisman House, 1994. In his interview, Hollo discusses his work, his influences, and his views on translation. Foster places Hollo alongside such contemporary American poets as Alice Notley, Ron Padgett, and Rosemarie Waldrop.

Weatherhead, A. Kingsley. The British Dissonance: Essays on Ten Contemporary Poets. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1983. Kingsley discusses Hollo in terms of his status as a poet once active in England, alongside such British poets as Basil Bunting, Charles Tomlinson, and Tom Raworth.