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rue Wilson Monday: Poems

Anselm Hollo

Here are Anselm Hollo's notes on rue Wilson Monday:

"When I was invited to spend five months in France, in an old hotel long frequented by artists and writers, I decided to write something that would NOT be your typical 'sabbatical poem'‚ that familiar rumination, by the U.S. American academic (temporary) expatriate, 'on' the Mona Lisa, Baudelaire's grave, or 'how different all this is from back home in Missoula Montana!'

"I believe that rue Wilson Monday turned out to be something possibly more interesting: a hybrid of day book, informal sonnet sequence, and extended, 'laminated' essay-poem, with an aesthetic (dare I say lyricism?) perhaps better understood by our younger generation of poets than by their predecessors, those mid-twentieth-century traveloguists. Works I found particularly inspiring in my endeavor were Ted Berrigan's The Sonnets and Edward Dorn's Abhorrences‚ books that will make me chuckle and weep to the end of my days.

"The book received its title from French poet Guillaume Apollinaire's 1913 poem 'Lundi rue Christine' (Monday rue Christine), a Cubist work composed almost entirely out of verbatim speech from various conversations in a cafe.

"In rue Wilson Monday, similar conversations take place in and around my head during that stay (August 1998/January 1999) at the Hotel Chevillon, an artists' and writers' retreat in the small town of Grez-sur-Loing. Back in 1876, Robert Louis Stevenson came to visit his cousin Robert at this hotel, whose present street address is 114 rue Wilson, "La Rue Grande" (Main Street) back then.

"To invite the reader to participate in my often elliptical conversations with these folks, I have provided footnotes, and these too are an integral part of the poem and the conversation."


Anselm Hollo, a renowned poet and translator, is professor of writing and poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

Published By La Alameda Press

7 x 9 in. 85 pages Halftone. Illustration.