Description of "Faces of Christmas Past" by Bill Holm

"Faces of Christmas Past" is an unabridged audiobook version, read by the author, of the holiday book of the same name published in 1998. This is the second audio work that Minnesota author/ essayist/ poet Bill Holm has produced for audio release. Holm's versatile portrayals of the his own successive Christmases and how they mark the passing of our life from childhood to death, holds the listener spellbound as he introduces the people, the rituals, the traditions, and the wonderful music that he has been a part of. Mr. Holm's storytelling lends itself to audio perfectly. Because this is Holm's first unabridged audiobook, we've spiced it up a bit with some extra holiday treats: a cookie recipe, a personal holiday greeting, and Bill Holm himself singing poems and playing piano arrangements of the compositions he mentions in the book!

One of the Midwest's favorite authors, Holm is known for his insightful comments on society and his warm and compelling tales of the people he's met, the travels he's taken. Whether it's his old piano teacher, a crusty ship's radio man on board the Bakkafoss freighter bound for Iceland, or a colorful character from his hometown of Minneota, Minnesota, Holm weaves words that bring people to life.
Holm also reminds us of the great consoling ritual of music, so rich and full of feeling at Christmas. Our best defense against age and death may be singing, he says, so we’d better open our mouths with courage and spirit to let the songs come. In that spirit, this audiobook also contains piano and vocal performances by the author of In The Bleak Midwinter, Christmas Bells, and other musical works mentioned throughout the essay.

Bill Holm's books include "The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth" (Milkweed Editions, 1996/2000 Reissue), "Eccentric Islands: Travels Real and Imaginary," (Milkweed Editions 2000), "Coming Home Crazy: An Alphabet of China Essays (Milkweed Editions, 1990/2000 Reissue), "Boxelder Bug Variations: A Meditation on an Idea in Language and Music" (Milkweed Editions, 1985), and "The Dead Get By with Everything" (Milkweed Editions, 1991). A new book of poetry "Playing the Black Piano" (Milkweed Editions, 2004) and a companion audio work "Notes From the Black Piano" (, 2004) have just been published.

A native of western Minnesota, Holm returned to Minneota while he was in his 40s, and writes –everything in longhand – from the old family house. He teaches at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minn. (enjoying his first semester of "phased retirement" this winter), and spends his summers in a cottage in his ancestral home of Iceland. He is currently at work on a prose book on what the world looks like through the windows of Brimness and has finished a book of poems, many about music and travel. He recently finished recording the unabridged versions of his latest books "Eccentric Islands" and "Faces of Christmas Past" with Essay Audio in St. Paul, MN.

Audio CD - $15.00
(not available on tape)
ISBN 0-9665212-6-9

Total time: 68 minutes

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