Bill Holm died on Wednesday, February 25. It feels like Minnesota has lost one of it’s letters. He was a writer that really was larger than life. I can’t add much to the tributes and obituaries I’ve read so I’ll share a story. If you need the details of his life the Star Tribune has published them here.
Bill gave a reading at Carleton a few years ago. I picked him up at the airport in Faribault and drove him to Northfield. We talked about the reading habits of college students and books the entire ride. He walked into Great Hall and declared “I’ve always wanted to give a reading in a room like this.” Bill was in perfect form that evening. He played the piano, sang, read some poems, and a couple of essays from Eccentric Islands. It’s what a reading should be. The audience loved it and so did Bill.
Jim Harrison described Bill this way: “Bill is not larger than life, he’s as big as life, which is as large as anyone gets.” So tonight I raise my glass and toast the great Minnesotan Bill Holm. I welcome your comments.