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Janet Holmes's Books

F2F (cover design by Quemadura)
At the core of this challenging new collection from Janet Holmes is the conceit of the sense of sight and the complex role it plays in women’s self-identities and relationships. Emily Dickinson is introduced as the iconic female writer who, unread in her time, is frequently misinterpreted and unheard. Holmes relates Dickinson’s self-isolation to the writer’s isolation from the...
The poetry in Humanophone, the third volume from award-winning poet Janet Holmes, celebrates composers and creators such as Harry Partch, Raymond Scott, Leon Theremin, and George Ives, who had to invent new instruments to capture the music heard in their “mind’s ear.” Taking its title from a George Ives invention—an instrument made from a group of humans, each of whom sings a...
The Green Tuxedo
Janet Holmes’s second book of poems explores and interrogates the quotidian life of the late twentieth century for what exists behind its often seductive appearance. In these poems we see beneath acceptable, sleek surfaces into the turbulence they often conceal, as the splendid green tuxedo of the title may disguise a heart that harbors racism, fear, and violence. Holmes exhorts us...
The Physicist at the Mall
"'What do you want?' Janet Holmes asks, and then answers: 'Patterns that make you utter/ surprise.' That's a good description of good poems: patterns of words whose utterance is an utter surprise. That's what we want from poems: surprise, discovery, a sense of irreducible verbal rightness. And that's what Janet Holmes gives us in this fine book." -- Michael McFee, Duke...