I’m standing in for a huge range of U.S. readers and writers for whom Rob Holloway’s work will be a delightful surprise—and a challenge, for we’re not used to a meditative, analytical poetry with this many moving parts. The first thing I notice about Permit is how verb-based it is; I get the sense of a swift creek scudding across stones, and the stones are the verbs making the whole thing happen. With his narrative continually shredding itself, dressing and undressing in a single motion, Holloway creates a society of underplayed males dominated by his incomparable heroine Pam, who, like Oedipa Maas in San Francisco, wanders through and activates a London tragic, gorgeous, and numinous as life itself. So I’m telling you, Rob Holloway’s poetry will open your eyes—and then some.
Rob Holloway is a poet and teacher living in London, England. His first chapbook, American Heroines, was published by Writers Forum in 1999, followed by Permit: A Sampler (2000) and Permit IV (Spanner, 2002). Permit is his first book. His work has appeared in the magazines Mirage #4/Period(ical), Tongue to Boot, Kenning, Tolling Elves, and Axolotl and online in How 2, onedit, Pores, and past simple. From November 2002 to March 2004, he hosted the poetry radio show Up for Air on Resonance FM. In 2004, he launched the poetry CD label Stem, publishing CDs by Maggie O’Sullivan, Allen Fisher, Peter Manson, and Leslie Scalapino. A chapbook of new work, Mortmain, is forthcoming from Stem in 2009.