Two horses under dramatic skyFullRes.jpg
Two horses under dramatic skyFullRes.jpg

My Dark Horses


My Dark Horses

My Dark Horses

Read an article about "My Dark Horses" in The Denver Post

Buy the book HERE in the US and HERE in the UK.

A Box
All those years
of trying to understand
which of this is her,
which of this is me?
Getting at the truth
was always so confusing
amidst her craziness;
how to separate?
And though the shrink said
Put her in a box—
I never quite could
until that Saturday
when the doorbell rang:
and there stood a man
thin and bedraggled,
dripping in the rain.
He held a clipboard,
a small warped box,
containing my mother
or rather her remains.
Sign here, he said,
and handed me the box.
Funny how this came
surprisingly unbidden,
though I’ve often wondered
if in a weak moment
I didn’t wish for this.
But now that it’s here
what am I to do
except to hold it close,
feel its roughness
up against my cheek,
smell that terrible smell
of factory cardboard
now finally between us.










Upcoming Readings


October 1: Reading at CSU Montrose, Montrose, Colorado
October 18: Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Reading on Gun Violence with Jane Smiley and Graham Yost, Carmel, California
October 21: Public Reading at York School, Monterey, California
October 24: Green Apple Books with Francesca Bell and Amanda Moore, San Francisco, California
October 25: Poetry Talk at Ideas@Pomona Summit, San Francisco, California

November 5: Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colorado

To see a list of PAST Readings click here.


Events & Workshops

Events & Workshops

Current Course

The Poetry School: Why Rhyme?



October 1 Visiting poet at CSM Montrose, Montrose, Colorado
October 21: Visiting Poet at York School, Monterey, California
October 22: Visiting Poet at York School, Monterey, California
October 23: Visiting Poet at Hilbrook School, Los Gatos, California



August 1: Writing from the Ashes, Poetry workshop on fire, Flagstaff, Arizona

September 21: Poetry as Memory and Music, Lighthouse Writers, Denver, Colorado
September 28: Poetry Workshop at Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff, Arizona
September 29: Poetry Workshop at Walnut Canyon National Monument, Flagstaff, Arizona

October 19: Poetry Memory and Childhood Workshop at Monterey Lyceum, Monterey, California
October 20: Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop at Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel, California


Interviews & Articles

Interviews & Articles

Interviews & Articles

Click on the titles below to listen or read:

Society Bytes Radio | My Dark Horses with Jodie Hollander

Interview with KNAU Arizona Public Radio | Poetry Friday: Poet In Residence, 'My Dark Horses'

'Magnificent...a vast pallette of emotion.' | Jodie Hollander’s Poems Surmount Emotional Milestones - from the Portland Mercury

The Voice of America | The High Window Journal’s Featured American Poet: Winter 2017, Jodie Hollander

Interview with KDNK Community Radio | Poetess Jodie Hollander

Interview on KGNU Boulder | Colorado poet Jodie Hollander

The Denver Post

Colorado Public Radio Interview | Poetry Collection Takes On Mother-Daughter Strife

Interview with WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio Interview | Making Music out of Words

Bath Spa Alumni Interview

Vail Daily Interview

Interview with Ted Mills/Funk Zone Podcast | Jodie Hollander







Selected Publications

The Poetry Review: "Corn on the Cob"

PN Review: "And what if in the end he's Just a Bird," "Two Horses," "The Worry Book"

Quadrant: "Vegetable," "Visiting the Horses" 

The Yale Review: "The Potato Plants."

Liverpool University Press: (Pavilion Poetry) My Dark Horses, April 2017.

Tall-lighthouse Publishing, The Humane Society, November 2012

The Best Australian Poems of 2015: “Oblivion.”

The Best Australian Poems of 2011: “The Humane Society.”

PN Review: “Caprice for Violin:” “Mother’s Tomato Plants,” “Mother’s Wrists,” Winter 2016

The New Criterion: “Ruts.”

The Rialto: "Horse Bones,"  "History Class," November 2016; “How to Fry a Chicken,” June 2015

The Manhattan Review: “A Box,” Fall 2016

Westerly: “Zero Hour,” Fall 2015

The Poetry Review: “He’s,” Fall 2015; “Splitting and Fucking,” Summer 2014

Australian Book Review: “A Box,” Fall 2015

Drunken Boat: “Draft of a Dream,” issue 23, 2015

The Evansville Review: “The Sound of Scissors,” Winter 2015

Verse Daily: “My Mother’s Will Emailed in pdf,” June 5, 2014

The Dark Horse: “Oblivion,” Spring 2014

The North: “The Metronome,” “Migraine” Spring 2014

The Raintown Review: “Speaking With the Dead,” Spring 2014

Stand: “Dream of a Burning Woman,” “Talking in Lamu,” “The Family Freezer,” Spring 2014

The Reader: “The Talking Tree,” “Taking my Mother to England,” Fall 2013

The Manchester Review: “The Humane Society,” Romancing Herself,” Fall 2013

Ambit: “Green,” “Skyping with my Mother,” Fall 2013

The Warwick Review: “Little Serenade,” “Mother’s Persian Rugs,” Fall 2013; “Migraine,” “My Mother’s Will  Emailed in pdf,” Fall 2011

Poet Lore: “Metronomes,” Spring 2012

Poetry New Zealand: “The Glass Elephants,” Spring 2012

Poetry Ireland Review: “Victoria Park,” Fall 2011

First Storm

When it first stormed in Costa Rica
I knew there was nothing I could do.
Our little yellow house started leaking,
all our fruit trees were losing their fruit.

The pink heliconia were battered,
the banana leaves swirled in the rain.
Where was my husband? That didn’t matter,
our tiny yellow house was starting to shake.

So I did the only thing I know,
I dragged out a chair and opened a beer,
knowing destruction will do what it will do—
I sat back, and watched what was here.



Awards & Residencies

Awards & Residencies

Residencies & Awards

Poet in Residence for the Museum of Northern Arizona, September 2018 - January 2019

The Studios of Key West, Key West, Florida, May-June 2018

Escape2Create, Seaside, Florida, Artist in Residence, January 2017

The Morris Squire Foundation, Santa Barbara, California, Artist in Residence: September, 2016; January 2018

Varda Artist’s Residency, Sausalito, California, May 2016

Click here for an article Jodie wrote about her experience on the SS Vallejo

Rivendell Writers Colony: Lisa Percy fellowship, Sewanee, Tennessee, February, 2016

Artist in Residence: Stanley, Idaho, April, 2015

The MacDowell Colony: Peterborough, New Hampshire, February-March, 2015

Chateau de la Napoule: Nice, France, October-November, 2014

The Betsy Hotel, Writer-in-residence, Miami, Florida, January, 2014

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts: Amherst, Virginia, July, 2014

Cil Rialaig Arts Foundation: Kerry, Ireland, June, 2014

Hawthornden Fellowship: Midlothian, Scotland, March-April, 2013

Wilfred Owen Association: Full bursary at Ty Newydd Centre, Wales, August, 2012

Grace Marion Wilson Trust: Rosebank Writer’s Bursary, Australia, July, 2011

Fulbright Fellowship for Study of Literature and Education in South Africa, 2007

National Endowment for the Humanities, award for study of Dante in Siena, Italy, 2005






“A torrent of shocking and revelatory poetry simmers between the covers of My Dark Horses , pulling the reader in with the very first poem, “Splitting and Fucking”: “My mother, / poor woman / somehow she was / always the victim / of splitting and fucking.” Talented, unpredictable, and dangerous, this mother is a malevolent force of nature, pitting her children against each other, ridiculing her husband, and “always the victim” of her bad decisions, lusts and passions.”
Read the review by Erica Goss at Pedestal Magazine

“The poems in this collection, both blunt and lyric, stoic and tender, roll over the palate like the flavors of a complex dish."
Read the review by Donna Vorreyer at Rhino

“Jodie Hollander’s powerful debut collection is as hypnotic and rich as a dream, taking as its epigraph Rimbaud’s assertion that “A thousand dreams within me softly burn”, and returning to the word “dream” repeatedly, balancing dreamscapes with vividly realized portraits from life.”
Read the review by Suzannah V. Evans at The Times Literary Supplement

"This is a technically competent, enjoyable collection...You will feel your humanity strengthened by reading it."
Read the entire review at The High Window.

"My Dark Horses offers no easy solutions but rather, hard-won understanding."
Read the entire review at The Poetry School.

"The past also preoccupies Jodie Hollander’s compelling My Dark Horses, which traces the troubled relationship of the poet with her mother. The collection returns, obsessively, to the mother – the trauma she inflicts and the trauma she suffers – and in doing so throws events and objects that seem innocuous into sharp relief. ‘The Red Tricycle’, for example, sparks recollections of Hollander’s mother being sexually abused by her father, and the poem imagines how ‘she held her mother’s big body / in her skinny white arms’. This is a heart-rending example of how Hollander charges even the plainest of lines with violent meanings: in its child-like simplicity, ‘big’ envelopes the poem in the consciousness of the abused child and emphasises the horrific inversion of a traumatised daughter having to comfort her own mother."
Read the review by Stephen Grace at The Compass.

The underlying emotional urgency of Jodie Hollander's poems is undeniable - but it's their tone that makes them unignorable. This meeting of searing family dysfunction and poignant metaphor with her matter-of-fact American vernacular strikes sparks.

-Susan Wicks

These poems bristle with the contained energy of conflicts that continue to shape who we are and impel what we do. The collection moves satisfyingly from wry observation – “at least nothing important got burnt / like Mother’s cello, or Father’s Steinway piano” (with its telling capital) – towards the uneasy peace of accepting that “destruction will do what it will do” and the discovery that poetry has the power to lay ghosts to rest – “I sat back, and watched what was here.”

-Andrew McCulloch, The Times Literary Supplement

These poems are full of situations redolent of grief and loss; yet they are far too vigorous to be depressing. The effect… is not of despair, but of rising to the occasion.

-Meg Crane, The Wilfred Owen Association

Online reviews at Sphinx Reviews
Excerpt below:
"This slim, elegant pamphlet is American poet Jodie Hollander’s first collection. I found it hauntingly sad and emotionally powerful."