Today’s picks for 2010 are from Memorious poetry reader Matt McBride:
You Are Mist by Matt Hart (MOOR Books). Matt’s quite a presence in the Queen City, and if you haven’t seen him read, you need to. Morgan once stated that listening to Matt was like going to “poetry church.” I don’t go to “real” church, but that sounds about right. His 2006 book, Who’s Who Vivid, was excellent. I’ve never really believed that irony or absurdity is mutually exclusive with “sincerity,” and Matt Hart’s work demonstrates that well. Reading Matt Hart is kind of like playing with Legos or making a miniature version of something out of matchsticks; it’s an additive process and you’re better off without instructions.
Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World by Adam Clay (Milkweed Editions). Adam read a few poems from this book last Winter in Cincinnati as part of the Moor Reading Series. His poems are very cognizant of the white space surrounding them. They didn’t seem to compete with silence so much as walk in and out of it. His first book of poems, The Wash (Parlor Press 2006), had this same sensibility, possibly because the poems were so small on the actual page and yet they always had an expansiveness to them, like the little pills you soak in water and then they become sponge dinosaurs, only with words instead of colored-sponge material.
Our countdown to the books of 2010 continues tomorrow!