Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club Poems: 1975-1990

August Kleinzahler

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

112 Pages



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"I have loved the air outside Shop-Rite Liquor
on summer evenings
better than the Marin hills at dusk
lavender and gold
stretching miles to the sea.

At the junction, up from the synagogue
a weeknight, necessarily
and with my father—
a sale on German beer.

Air full of living dust:
bus exhaust, air-borne grains of pizza crust
wounded crystals
appearing, disappearing
among streetlights and unsuccessful neon."

Though Kleinzahler's first collections earned him a cult following, they have long been out of print or hard to find. For Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club, Kleinzahler—credited by The Times (London) with the "vision and confident skill to make American poetry new"—has chosen the best of Storm over Hackensack, Earthquake Weather, and other volumes. Featuring a new autobiographical preface, this collection makes available the early work of a contemporary master.


Praise for Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club

"[Kleinzahler's] world is one of inundating multiplicity, noise, hubbub, traffic, crowds--a federation of intense and disparate states unified in a single sensibility. . . . Kleinzahler's concern with getting it exactly right is also Pound's, and his best successes here are just as crisp and pungent as Pound's most startling images."—DeSales Harrison, Boston Book Review

"Kleinzahler's verse line is always precise, concrete, intelligent, and rare—that quality of 'chiseled' verse memorable in Basil Bunting's and Erza Pound's work. A loner, a genius."—Allen Ginsberg

"August Kleinzahler is surely one of the best lyric poets writing today . . . A typical piece is fleeting, unstable, almost improvisatory, entirely seductive in its aimlessness."—Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement

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August Kleinzahler's most recent collections are Green Sees Things in Waves (FSG, 1998) and Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow (FSG, 1995). He lives in San Francisco, where he writes a music column for The San Diego Weekly Reader.
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  • August Kleinzahler

  • August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City in 1949. He is the author of ten books of poems and a memoir, Cutty, One Rock. His most recent book of poetry, The Strange Hours Travelers Keep, was awarded the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize. He won the Lannan Literary Award in 2008.  He lives in San Francisco.
  • August Kleinzahler Laura Wilson