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Cover for Pause, Traveler

Pause, Traveler

Erin Hollowell


List Price: 16.95*
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Pause, Traveler is a journey through the dark heart of the American landscape, from New York City to Alaska. These poems search for redemption in the most unlikely places: Circus World Museum, an Iceworm Festival, a frozen gas station in Alaska. Traversing the difficult terrain of damaged relationships and misplaced affection, this collection finds hope in the fractured beauty of the world.

Praise For Pause, Traveler

 “The beautiful but often psychologically searing poems of Erin Coughlin Hollowell’s Pause, Traveler recall Robert Frank’s book of photographs, The Americans. In poem after poem, Hollowell draws portraits of the kind of nearly gutted American soul Frank saw as he crossed the continent to take so many of his famous portraits. Her careful predication, sharp lineation, and spare but agonizing imagery takes each poem far into the soul of a human being who is in hardscrabble transition.”—Kevin Clark, author of Self Portrait with Expletives

 “Erin Coughlin Hollowell’s Pause, Traveler, is a brave book, full of poems that find not much to hang onto in this shaky and often dark world, but they hang on anyway, with a fierce joy. Inside each of them is the tension of ‘a crust, a crypt, a bomb,’ but every day arrives new, with its hopes. There’s the Iceworm Festival in the dead of an Alaskan winter: ‘Heck, why not?’ she writes. A man with a brain tumor is crowned ‘Citizen of the Year,’ the Girl Scouts sing, and the night is lit from the inside. Reading these poems, I begin to be grateful for what’s cracked, what’s broken, and grateful for Hollowell’s eye that looks straight at it all, and makes of it these splendid, clear poems.”—Fleda Brown, Poet Laureate of Delaware emeritus, author of Reunion, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize

“There is a place where conversation ends. / Where a person becomes a locked door, Erin Coughlin Hollowell writes. And I think, yes, exactly, because this is where her poems pick up, dusting the outline of things left unsaid or unsayable. Densely packed as glacial ice, her short lines carry weight of many worlds—the charged desire and loneliness of a New York subway, the stale coffee of a South Dakota truck stop, a woman in a family photo who smells of breast milk, maples leaves / and the dirty fingerprints of boys. Finally, we are led home to a place alive with sandhill cranes and kelp and sea lions. Here you have a woman who has traveled far and has paid attention. I am grateful to be able to journey with her.”—Nickole Brown, author of Sister: Poems

Boreal, 9781597097208, 88pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2013

About the Author

Erin Coughlin Hollowell is a poet and writer who lives at the end of the road in Alaska. Prior to landing in Alaska, she lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns, pursuing many different professions, from tapestry weaving to arts administration. She earned her MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University in 2009. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska. Her work has most recently been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Weber Studies, Terrain: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environment, and Sugar House Review.