Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Hotel Oneira

The Hotel Oneira


August Kleinzahler

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Trade Paperback

A thrilling new collection from one of the most original poets of his generation

"His work is a modernist swirl of sex, surrealism, urban life, and melancholy with a jazzy backbeat." While this praise appeared in the pages of The New York Times in 2005, 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 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.


Praise for The Hotel Oneira

“Kleinzahler's music is not like anyone else's. His ear seems at times to have been shipped in from one of the moons of Saturn, and he hears possibilities in our daily language to which the rest of us remain incorrigibly deaf.” —Troy Jollimore, The Washington Post

“Kleinzahler's work, dreamlike yet savvy, is among the most delightful flowerings of American poetry in our times.” —David Wheately, The Guardian (London)

“[August 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. It's been five years since the astonishment of Sleeping It Off in Rapid City, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry in 2008 (and should have won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer), and, well, he's back . . . If you're unfamiliar with his work . . . start somewhere, for God's sake--you're missing out on one hell of a racket.” —Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune

“Kleinzahler's poetry, like his name, is verbally lush, veritably cornucopian and always promising more . . . If there's a unifying characteristic to this ‘teeming,' verbally high-octane poetry, it's its ability to lean toward sentimentality without indulging in it. Memory, in August Kleinzahler's poetry, becomes a resource for reveling in words and proper nouns that might otherwise seem lost - for revivifying the dead both within and without the poet. And the poetry itself delivers bouquet after bouquet of lovely phrases, ‘profusion(s) of violets, turtles, snakes and cranes,' so that even if readers can't quite remember the lost world Kleinzahler is recovering, they can enjoy his skill, which is considerable.” —Aaron Belz, San Francisco Chronicle

“Where the acoustics of his poems are concerned, Kleinzahler is the model of scrupulousness . . . Here in abundance is Frost's "sound of sense," musically understood, as a poetic lingua franca . . . Things often look bleak in Kleinzahler's poems; but no inhibition need attach to pointing out how well these witty and enjoyable poems manage to turn out.” —Aingeal Clare, Times Literary Supplement (UK)

“Kleinzahler's first since his new-and-selected Sleeping It Off in Rapid City (2008) finds the peripatetic, polymathic, and sometimes dyspeptic poet in terrific form . . . What stays, and what ought to impress any reader, are the range and the command that Kleinzahler has over so many flavors and kinds of American English.” —Publishers Weekly

“Kleinzahler's poems amuse, challenge, and occasionally tease . . . his dark lyrics and mininarratives open doors to surreal, vividly rendered destinations that seem as real as any found in a travel agent's brochure.” —Fred Muratori, Library Journal

In the Press

Poet August Kleinzahler hears possibilities in our daily speech to which the rest of us remain deaf. - The Washington Post

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

August Kleinzahler

August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, 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, California.

August Kleinzahler

Mark Savage

August Kleinzahler

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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