Barbara A. Holland - Autumn Numbers
Autumn Numbers was published as a chapbook by our Grim Reaper Books imprint in 1980. We described it then as “a wry set of poems. … [with] many surreal and whimsical autumnals.” It included “End of an Era,” addressed to the goddess of Victory, fallen from the arch in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. For this new 2019 ebook edition, we have added some other Holland autumn-themed poems, including the terrifying witch-poem, “Apples of Sodom and Gomorrah,” and Holland’s most powerful single poem, “Not Now, Wanderer!”
Philadelphia-raised poet Barbara Adams Holland was the daughter of an archaeologist who specialized in Greek ruins; her mother was a Professor of Latin. She earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at University of Pennsylvania and completed work on a doctorate. She labored on the staff of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, conducted genealogical research, and worked as a stockbroker. A descendant of the Revolutionary-era Adams line, she was a rugged individualist, choosing to live off the tiny earnings of a small bundle of stocks and bonds so that she could be a full-time poet living in Manhattan. From the 1960s until her death in 1988, she did just that, publishing hundreds of poems and haunting all the poetry venues of New York. Her Gothic and surrealist poems, and her gaunt appearance, earned her the nickname of “The Sybil of Greenwich Village.” So powerful were her readings that audiences frequently wept, and many poets who heard her were inspired to emulate her or even to write poems in response to hers. She is still a legend on the New York poetry scene.
This is the 248th publicaiton of The Poet’s Press.