Freedom Hill: A Poem
L.S. Asekoff Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3551.S334F74 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Recepient, 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship
Winner, 2012 Witter Bynner Award and Fellowship
L. S. Asekoff's Freedom Hill is a dramatic monologue divided into three sections. The first concerns the speaker's visit with his aging parents and the death of his father. The second, set at an art party, is a meditation on women, desire, and the nature of the self. In the third, we witness the effects on the speaker of a cerebral stroke, along with his gradual recovery. As readers of Asekoff's unique body of work have come to expect, this highly allusive poem encompasses a wide range of subject matter: Heidegger, C-SPAN, modern art, aging, capitalism, religion. Also familiar will be Asekoff's great variety of tone and verbal ingenuity. Although indebted to high modernism, Freedom Hill is an ambitious, thoroughly contemporary meditation on issues very much of the present.
Apart from two volumes published in the 1990s, the work of L. S. Asekoff has been winning admirers only among those lucky enough to encounter it in poetry journals and magazines over the last three decades. Now comes a new collection from this startlingly original poet. Astonishing in its variety of forms and subject matter, The Gate of Horn includes a series of monologues in which Asekoff conjures voices as disparate as the Marquis de Sade, an ancient Aztec warrior, an immigrant
Korean woman, a Vietnam vet, and a Holocaust historian. Above all, however, it is Asekoff’s own unmistakable voice that is on display— surreally sensual, intensely lyrical, darkly tragicomic. Through the gates of death and dreams, these wide-ranging, loosely associative poems speak with wit and erudition to the deepest mysteries of language and of life.