Sometime during the twentieth century, the self-mythology of the literary critic fused with that of the cowboy: a lone outrider, practicing a defunct trade, whose consolation was rugged stoicism and a beautiful terrain. John Clegg’s startling new collection unravels this myth, excavating as it does so certain strange cities: 1930s Cambridge, 1960s Oxford, Socorro in New Mexico, and Toledo, Rilke’s ‘incomparable city’, where the famed eleventh-century Translation School warped over five hundred years into a mythical University of Demonology. Holy Toledo! is a history of English literary criticism in the twentieth century; a bestiary of the American Southwest; an unreliable guide to the desert; and some doubtful biographical footnotes. The poems in this book have their own rangy energy.