Nice reviews of Unopened book continue to roll in, including a great piece by Ron Wynn at Tennessee Jazz and Blues. Always good to be in with the jazzers, particularly in a column inspired by John Coltrane. Thanks, Ron. (click on link for more TJB)
Unopened By Doug Hoekstra (Five-Minute)
Former Chicagoan and now Music City resident Doug Hoekstra is both a gifted musician and an excellent writer. His newest volume “Unopened” features his poetry, which ranges from upbeat and energetic, to satirical, bemused, and forthright. Some selections are short, others long, but all have the flow and rhythmic pace one would expect from a creative person attuned to the necessity for spontaneity and immediacy, as well as honesty and emotional impact, whether the subject is music or writing. Though I’m more a fan of prose than poetry, I thoroughly enjoyed these poems, which Hoekstra has divided into three sections of 19 works, each with its own chapter heading and sensibility.
Personal favorites include “Memory,” “The First Step,” “Killing Time at the Tate,” Interstate 65 Revisited” and “Vinyl,” though I could easily cite at least 10-20 others equally enjoyable. He’s arranged them sequentially. The first section focuses on home, family and friends, the second on interactions in society that range from political to personal (sometimes both), and finally reflections on the arts as well as romance and gender relationships.
That Doug Hoekstra is a great musician is well known, but increasingly fans should know he’s also just as valuable as a writer. “Unopened” continues his impressive journey down that road.