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The Hotel Oneira Poems

August Kleinzahler

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

0374172935

9780374172930

Hardcover

112 Pages

$24.00

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“His work is a modernist swirl of sex, surrealism, urban life and melancholy with a jazzy backbeat.” That praise appeared in the pages of The New York Times in 2005, but it applies no less to August Kleinzahler’s newest collection. Kleinzahler’s poetry is, as ever, concerned with permeability: Voices, places, the real and the dreamed, the present and the past, all mingle together in verses that always ring true. Whether the poem is three lines long or spans several pages; whether the voice embodied is that of “an adult male of late middle age, // about to weep among the avocados and citrus fruits / in a vast, overlit room next to a bosomy Cuban grandma” as in “Whitney Houston,” or that of the title character in “Hootie Bill Do Polonius,” who is bidding “adios compadre // To a most galuptious scene Kid”—Kleinzahler finds the throbbing human heart at the core of experience.  This is a poet searching for—and finding—a cadence to suit life as it’s lived today. Kleinzahler’s verses are, as noted in the judges’ citation for the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize (which he won for his collection The Strange Hours Travelers Keep), “ferociously on the move, between locations, between forms, between registers.” The Hotel Oneira finds Kleinzahler at his shape-shifting, acrobatic best, unearthing the “moments of grace” buried under the detritus of our hectic, modern lives.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Hotel Oneira

"[Kleinzahler] might be the best poet in America, I don't know—I can't trust my judgment after I finish one of his too infrequent collections, high on its cartoon-jazz fumes . . . Kleinzahler possesses the patience to choose what is worth observing and describe it well, a habit of mind learned, it would seem, from the Japanese:"—Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune

In the Press

Review: ‘The Hotel Oneira,’ poems by August Kleinzahler - The Washington Post
Poet August Kleinzahler hears possibilities in our daily speech to which the rest of us remain deaf.

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City in 1949. He is the author of eleven books of poems and a memoir, Cutty, One Rock. His collection The Strange Hours Travelers Keep was awarded the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize, and Sleeping It Off in Rapid City won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. That same year he received a Lannan Literary Award. He lives in San Francisco.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • August Kleinzahler

  • August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City in 1949. He is the author of eleven books of poems and a memoir, Cutty, One Rock. His collection The Strange Hours Travelers Keep was awarded the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize, and Sleeping It Off in Rapid City won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. That same year he received a Lannan Literary Award. He lives in San Francisco.

  • August Kleinzahler Laura Wilson
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