Monday, June 23, 2008

The Man in the Booth in the Midtown Tunnel

Cervena Barva Press is pleased to announce the publication of
"The Man in the Booth in the Midtown Tunnel"
by Doug Holder

For years that image of the man in a small plastic booth in the fume-
filled Midtown Tunnel that connects Queens to Manhattan in NYC
haunted me. As a kid traveling into the city from the sheltered,
well-manicured lawns of Long Island to the enigmatic, cosmopolitan
world of Manhattan, I couldn't help but wonder about that blue-
uniformed lone figure pacing the perimeter of his plastic cage. I
think he represented to some extent my fear of the world outside the
comforts of my family, and the staid, small town I lived in,
Rockville Centre.

I have always admired writers like the New Yorker's Joseph Mitchell,
who wrote about the outsiders, the denizens of the old Bowery, the
ner-do-wells, the poseurs, the dandies, and the stumblebums, who
make the city a both fascinating and frightened place. I always
wondered as a kid if I would wind up in the middle of a metaphorical
tunnel, a man in a cage, looking for the light. And I guess to some
extent we all do in one-way or the other, whether we like it or not.

So I thought this image would be a perfect focal point for my poetry
collection, a sort of "Spoon River Anthology" that would consist of
character studies of the many men and women I have met, watched and
imagined in my time across this stage. I include myself in this
collection, because I have always identified with that man and I see
his ghost wherever I roam.
Doug Holder

Order online at

"Aside from being the founder, publisher, and co-editor of the
prestigious and influential Ibbetson Street Press, Doug Holder
writes poetry with a passion and insight that deserves prestige and
influence all its own."
S. Craig Renfoe, Jr., Main Street Rag

"Holder's work is rich with textual imagery… a master poet who sees
the world clearly and shares that vision generously with readers.
Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review

"A great poet and a Boston legend."
Joe Gouveia, host of "Poet's Corner," Provincetown radio

"I don't think I send you kudos enough because I take your magical
perceptions of the ordinary, your unique take on the everyday, as
something you do time and time again always in surprising ways....
from toilet to pay phones, to the fluid connection to all things
human is utterly Doug Holder and there isn't anyone out there
remotely doing what you do so dryly and always with
human regard."
-Linda Larson, former editor-in-chief of Spare Change News