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Before Dawn on Bluff Road / Hollyhocks in the Fog

August Kleinzahler

A collection of August Kleinzahler’s best poems, divided – like his life – between New Jersey and San Francisco

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When August Kleinzahler won the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize for his collection The Strange Hours Travelers Keep, the judges’ citation referred to his work as ‘ferociously on the move, between locations, between forms, between registers’. They might also have added ‘between New Jersey and San Francisco’, the places Kleinzahler has spent his life travelling between, both on the road and on the page. This collection assembles the best of his New Jersey and San Francisco poems for the first time, organised according to place.

Providing readers with a gorgeous guide to Kleinzahler’s interior geography, Before Dawn on Bluff Road (New Jersey) and Hollyhocks in the Fog (San Francisco) function as both word-maps and word-anatomies of one of our greatest poet’s lifelong passions and preoccupations.

Critic Reviews

Together, the two parts of the book convey the idea that sometimes two complimentary opposites are necessary to satisfy a wandering spirit and fuel a writer’s growth.

Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post

August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City in 1949. He is the author of many books of poems and a prose memoir, Cutty, One Rock. The Strange Hours Travelers Keep won the International Griffin Poetry Prize (2004), Sleeping it Off in Rapid City the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in San Francisco.

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