September 20, 2020

The Write Space – Doug Holder

by Felicia Cheney

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The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Collective covering a local writer and a North Shore space(s) s/he associates with writing.  Questions? Contact:

Give us your best writerly bio.

Well, I just finished up a collection of poetry “The Essential Doug Holder,” that was released by Big Table Books this summer. Recently, a “Doug Holder Papers Collection” has been established at the University at Buffalo, NY. Years ago, I started a small press collection at Endicott College where I have taught creative writing for the past 10 or so years. I also founded the Ibbetson Street Press— back in 1998—we have put out about 100 books and chapbooks since then, and over 45 issues of the literary magazine Ibbetson Street.

Tell us about a North Shore Write Space. 

Well I have written a few poems at the office I share in the English Department at Endicott, as well as a few in the Atomic Cafe in Beverly. I like white noise, so cafes are a good fit for me.

When I’m in the North Shore, not writing, I’m …

I love to take walks along the Boston Harbor—usually 5 to 6 mile stints—I find this is great for my head and creativity—walking in general is a great pleasure for me.

What are you working on now? 

Right now, I am curating the “Poem During the Plague” series on the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene ( We have published a number of poems from local, national, and international poets—some real striking work. As they say, “Great Pain, brings Great Art.”

And finally —

Texting in Class

They are like gymnasts
tapping below their waists
a resplendent smile to their crotch.

Their heads bob
up and down
a restless buoy.

I call on them
they smile with cunning innocence
a slight-of-hand
they slip
it clandestinely
into a pant’s pocket

something is up their sleeve.

There is always
a tapping subtext
in class.
My commentary
lost in their coded

It should be on the syllabus
this game of cat and mouse.
But their bodies
they are not
on firm ground.

Find out more at —

Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene:,
Ibbetson Street Press:

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