These poems, part of a larger project called paleos, were inspired by the discovery in 2010 that a small number of glyphs, signs, and geometric symbols appear repeatedly in Paleolithic cave and rock art around the world. It seems that some kind of symbolic representation or expression may have existed 30,000 years earlier than previously believed. What can we make of these mysterious gestures, these artifacts of early human consciousness? Clayton Eshleman refers to this archaic art as evidence of “…a crisis that slowly came to a head over thousands of years in which hominid animality eroded, and at around 30,000 BC was separated out of the to-be-human heads and daubed, smeared, chipped, in nearly total dark, at times close to a mile underground, on cave walls” (Fracture, Black Sparrow Press, 1983).

Hoag Holmgren’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Gettysburg Review, StoryQuarterly, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Buenos Aires Review, Mid-American Review, Quarter After Eight, Double Room, divide, Drunken Boat, elephant journal, and elsewhere. His short films, including Space Hymn, have been official selections in film festivals in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Biarritz, France. Articles on assessment and the arts in higher education have appeared in To Improve the Academy (Jossey-Bass) and National Teaching and Learning Forum (Wiley Online Library).

Read new poems by hoag holmgren.

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