Andrea Hollander, an award-winning poet and former writer-in-residence at Lyon College, recently published her fifth full-length collection of poetry, Blue Mistaken for Sky, by Autumn House Press.
Hollander ran a bed and breakfast in Mountain View for 15 years and served as the writer-in-residence at Lyon College for 22 years until 2013. After many years in the Ozark Mountains, she moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011 but would return to Lyon for her teaching semesters.
The new collection is personal in nature, a memoir recounting the breakup of her marriage, the feelings of betrayal, and her eventual decision to literally move on, relocating from Arkansas to Portland, Oregon.
The middle section of the book flashes back to her youth and to experiences that contributed to decisions and circumstances of her adult life, including early relationships with boys and men, her mother’s illness and death, and uncomfortable dealings with her father, whose use of silence felt to her like a weapon and who eventually slid into dementia.
The new collection has received excellent reviews. For example, Maria Rouphail wrote in Pedestal Magazine:
“To call Blue Mistaken for Sky a poetic or spiritual memoir may be to over-define it. Nonetheless, taken together as Hollander has arranged them, the poems appear to be the mature fruit of a smart poet’s process of discernment, an exploration of personal loss and disillusion. Honest and authentic come to mind as apt adjectives …. The fact is that the poems are proof of the poet’s dogged internal work, and for Hollander to have translated this journey into such graceful and relatable poems is stunning.”
In an interview by Terri Lewis in the Washington Independent Review of Books, Hollander said:
“For me, drafting poems is a form of writing practice, the operative word being practice. I don’t expect a good poem to emerge. When a promising poem makes a turn I didn’t expect, I know I have something worthwhile to work with. Then I begin to edit both immediately and over a period of days or weeks, sometimes even months. I put the poem away, take it out, read it aloud again and again, put it away, and so on, making adjustments as I recognize problems or improvements.”
Her previous collection, Landscape with Female Figure: New & Selected Poems, 1982 - 2012 (Autumn House Press, 2013) was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, and her first, House Without a Dreamer (Story Line Press, 1993), won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize.
Hollander’s many other honors include two Pushcart Prizes (in poetry and literary nonfiction) and two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is widely published in textbooks, anthologies, and literary journals. More information is on her website: www.andreahollander.net.
Blue Mistaken for Sky and her other collections are available on Amazon. A signed copy may be purchased through her website.
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