Thursday, October 06, 2005

PAUSING FOR POETRY (Boston Globe-- Denise Taylor- -Oct 6, 2005)

Call him the pied piper of poets. If Doug Holder isn't busy publishing poets via his Ibbetson Street Press or sharing new finds through newspaper stories or on cable TV, he's running readings, planning slams, organizing writers' festivals, helping patients at McLean Hospital write verse, or editing Poesy magazine.


With his fingers in so many poetry pots, Holder, 50, knows who is writing what and, when he spies talent, he makes sure that voice is heard. Next week, the Somerville-based poet will present three of his picks at the monthly Newton Free Library poetry series, which he took over in 2002. Reading will be Dick Lourie of Somerville, Laurie Rosenblatt of Brookline, and Clara Silverstein of Newton.Lourie impressed Holder with the musicality of his verse. ''He also writes poems about his father that deal with the yin and the yang of relationships with one's father -- the forgiving, the letting go, the getting closer. That really hit a chord with me," said Holder, adding that he also enjoys Lourie's poems about growing up Jewish.

Lourie is noted in poetry circles. He cofounded Hanging Loose Press, which launched many a poet, including Sherman Alexie, popularly known for the film ''Smoke Signals." But Rosenblatt, by day a psychiatrist working with cancer patients, is one of Holder's recent finds.
''She has not had much exposure but she's a very interesting writer," Holder said. ''She writes with an economy of words. Each word is very charged and full of meaning and there's no excess language. She brings a lot of her work and the issues of life and death into her poetry."

Silverstein, an author and food writer for the Boston Herald, caught Holder's attention with her culinary imagery. ''I've had a fascination with food. I believe it can be very evocative -- the smells, the tastes -- and I find that very interesting in her."

More important, all three write poems that perform what Holder sees as an essential service. ''Good poetry freezes a moment in time. It lets you examine it and reflect and maybe notice some beauty in the banality of every day. When we rush to the subway or sit at the computer, we might not notice how the light is striking the window, some plant, your child, your cat -- the beauty of that."

The three poets will read at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St . An open-mike session follows. Admission is free. Call 617-796-1360 or visit www.ci.newton.ma.us.

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