I had the pleasure of meeting Jodie Hollander earlier this year whilst on a trip to north Wales. Jodie was over from the States for a week, and she mentioned that her debut poetry pamphlet, ‘The Humane Society’ was due this year from Tall Lighthouse, a small press with an impressive roster of poets including Aoife Mannix, Brendan Cleary, Helen Mort and Liz Berry. I’ve only read a few poems from Jodie’s collection but have been struck by their intense focus on objects to convey emotion with originality precision and power.
Jodie Hollander is originally from Wisconsin and now lives and works in Washington DC. An alumni of the Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa University, her poetry has appeared in a number of poetry magazines and journals both in the UK and America. She has also received a Fullbright Scholarship and is due to receive a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2013.
She set the metronome ticking,
her children the pendulum, rocking
back and forth from Mother to Father,
Father back to Mother. Then she’d twist
the knob to Father-Mother, Mother-Father,
or call out Allegro!, and they’d speed up:
FatherMother, MotherFather, FatherMother.
Her children walked sideways, their eyes
shifted horizontally, they looked dizzy, even
possessed—missing the cars zooming in front
of them, but somehow they always heard
Mother’s tempo, and passed from this
lover to that lover, from that lover to this.
From The Humane Society, 2012 Tall Lighthouse press
available here, price £4.
Poem re-produced here with Jodie’s kind permission.