Unopened – Liverpool to Seattle

The hits keep coming as two more nice reviews of Unopened roll in, from two of our favorite cities.  Enjoy the blurbs and the links.

“Clever and insightful…gentle and reflective poetry…food for the soul….if you don’t usually read poetry then you should give Doug Hoekstra’s book a try, because good poetry is always an enjoyable read. And, if you do read poetry, you should give Doug Hoekstra’s book a try for exactly the same reason.” (Americana-UK, Liverpool)

Book Review: Doug Hoekstra “Unopened” (Five-Minute Books, 2019)

“Every lover of poetry is sure to find arresting images and allegory…poems that speak to them and give them pause…” (Seattle Book Review, *** ½ star review)





East Side Storytellin

Shot of yours truly reading from the new book, “Unopened” at Chuck Beard’s East Side Storytellin’ 152 last week, May 7. James Rotondi did a fab job playing, as well, and you can see more shots, and listen to the whole thing, reliving the magic at the link below.

East Side Storytellin’ 152 – The night when two writers/musicians in Doug and Roto brought everything together just right



Unopened / Chapter 16 / TN Humanities

Pleased to be featured in Chapter 16, “a community of Tennessee writers, readers, and passersby” set up by Tennessee Humanities.   They featuredImpermanence, a selection from my new book, Unopened, along with a plug for my Tuesday, May 7th reading at Post East (East Side Storytellin’) here in Nashville. Enjoy!


Unopened / Tennessee Jazz and Blues

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.