Thursday, July 17, 2014


Follow me on Twitter: @forkliftmatt666


Also, I have two new poems in the summer issue of Sixth Finch, which you can see here and here, or, even better, you can check out the entire issue here, including great new work by Lucy Biederman, Jeff Hipsher. Tony Mancus, Gregory Lawless, Mark McKee, and Elizabeth Scanlon, among others.

Thanks to Rob MacDonald and Roberto Montes for including me in the issue.

I hope you'll check it out.

Massive thanks,


Monday, July 07, 2014

BASH #22--THIS FRIDAY w/ Matt Hart, Stephen Burt and David Rivard


I'm reading in Black Ocean's BASH reading series this Friday 7/11 at the Brookline Booksmith 279 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446. 7PM.

I will read.

Stephen Burt will read!

David Rivard will read!

This is gonna be a terrific night.

If you're in the Boston area, please come check it out.

Here's a link to the Facebook invite:

and here's one to the bookstore site:

I hope to see some of you this weekend.



Sunday, January 26, 2014


Dear Friends,

Twenty sections of my long sequence Radiant Action have gone up at Spoke Too Soon: A Journal of the Longer, along with recordings of me reading each section and close readings of the selection by both Ben Kopel and Jennifer Moore. I hope you'll take a second to check take a look. And please get on board with Spoke Too Soon in general. It's a great new online presence that's providing a forum for work that would be difficult to publish elsewhere.

Massive thanks to both Ben and Jennifer for the generous close readings and to Editors Kelin Loe and  Leora Fridman for believing in this work.


Thursday, January 16, 2014


Hi Everyone,

I’m reading at MOTR Pub this coming Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7PM. Please see the flyer above for details. BUT take note: There will be two open mics, so bring your poems. Bring your joy. I will be blasting some “Radiant Action.”
This series, WORD OF MOUTH Cincinnati, hosted by Jim Palmarini and Mark Flanigan, inspired by the late Aralee Strange, the former Cincinnati writer and artist who passed way in June, 2013. Strange ran readings, made films, wrote poems and produced plays and other performance work during her many years in Cincinnati, before moving to Athens, Georgia in 2007. In Athens, she co-founded Word of Mouth, a popular and successful spoken word series.

Word of Mouth Cincinnati is an intentional arc of both past and future utterance, inspired by our most revered voice, with a nod to her Athens, GA compatriots. Word of Mouth asks poets to Show Up, Mouth Off, and Pay Attention.

I hope to see you there.


Friday, September 27, 2013


Dear Friends,

I have numerous readings coming up this fall. If you happen to be in any of these places, I hope you'll come out and say hello. Words will fly. You will be radiant. I will be a bicycle of leaves or a nervous aluminum rabbit or coleslaw or...

I hope to see you in one or more of these states. Please check back for updates, as I'll be adding more details and more readings to the list.

Thanks for all the support.



9/27 Bloomington, IN
William S. Burroughs Festival Fundraiser w/ Chris Mattingly, Ross Gay, Tony Brewer, Morgan Adams, David Watters, The Bishop Bar, 123 S. Walnut St., Bloomington, IN 47404, 8PM;

9/28 Columbus, OH
With Poetry Reading Series w/ William Waltz and Melissa Barrett, Tree Bar 887 Chambers Rd., 43212 Columbus, OH, 7:00PM

10/3 San Bernardino, CA
California State University, San Bernardino w/ Nate Pritts, in Pfau Library, Rm 4005, 6PM

10/4 San Diego, CA
Digital Gym/Media Arts Center w/Chad Sweeney and Nate Pritts, 2921 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104, 6PM

10/5 Long Beach, CA
Stranded Artist Series Reading w/Nate Pritts and Chad Sweeney, The Poetry Lab, 235 East Broadway, 8th Floor, Long Beach, CA 8PM

10/10 Rock Island, IL
Spectra Poetry Reading Series w/ Russell Dillon, Amanda Smeltz, and Aubrey Jane Ryan, Rozz-Tox, 2108 3rd Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201, 8PM

10/11 Madison, WI
MONSTERS OF POETRY Reading Series w/ Russell Dillon, Amanda Smeltz, and Dobby Gibson, Dragonfly Lounge, 401 East Washington Ave., Madison WI 53703, 7PM

10/17 Sausalito, CA
WHY THERE ARE WORDS Reading Series w/Sally Ball, Vikram Chandra, Russell Dillon, Rae Gouirand, Kate Milliken, Melissa Pritchard, and Jane Smiley, Studio 333, 333 Caledonia St., Sausalito, CA, 7PM

10/18 Santa Cruz, CA
FELIX KULPA GALLERY w/ Russell Dillon, 107 Elm Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 7:30PM

10/19 San Francisco, CA
Russell Dillon Book Release Reading w/ Russell Dillon and Emily Meg Weinstein, Madrone Art Bar, 500 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 5PM

10/23 Greensboro, NC
University of North Carolina, GreensboroUNCG Faculty Center, 402 College Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27402, 9PM

10/24 Greeneville, TN
Tusculum CollegeShulman Atrium, 60 Shiloh Rd., Greeneville, TN 37745, 7PM

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The fine people at Typecast Publishing have done a reprint of the Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless boxed set! You can get it here: It looks like this:

This letterpressed boxed set, produced by the fine people at Firecracker Press, contains all the sections of the paperback version of the book, each with its own beautiful cover in silver, metallic ink. Additionally, it includes the CD of Blank Sermons...Relentless Lectures by my band TRAVEL, which uses cut up versions of the book's poems as lyrics. I'm really happy that this set's back out in the world. The first printing sold out before the book was even released, so now's your chance to get one. Quantities are very limited. I hope you'll pick it up.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Last week my friend Daniel Shapiro tagged me for the Next Big Thing self-interview series, in which writers answer the same nine questions about their forthcoming books or works-in-progress. In mine (see below), I talk about my forthcoming H_NGM_N Books book, DEBACLE DEBACLE, which you can be pre-order here

NOTE: I am very much looking forward to reading the interviews of the friends--terrific writers all--who I've tagged at the bottom of this post. You should be too. I know they'll be terrific.

Thanks so much for reading!



1. What is the working title of the book?

Debacle Debacle

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wouldn’t say the book sprung from an idea at all. Rather poems accumulated and started to talk to one another. My books almost never come from an idea. They are the result of poems piling up (and being revised) over some longish period of time that I eventually assemble into a book (via various methods).

That said, somewhere in the midst of writing the poems in this book, I was reading Andre Breton and ran across his declaration (The Surrealists were so great at declarations, I declare it!) that “A poem must be a debacle of the intellect.” Obviously Breton’s talking here about a revolution of consciousness—about getting out from under the purely rational, analytical, decorous and socialized mind via brainstorm and accident and upheavel. But I just like that word “debacle”—I like that it kind of feels like an ice thaw breaking in your head when you say it. I like the hard consonants followed by the “l”. I like the “eh” and the “ah,” which seem sort of mushy in comparison to the concrete consonants. It’s a difficult word—a difficult beauty; a convulsive word—a convulsive beauty (“Beauty must be convulsive or not be at all”—also Breton). When I looked the word up, I realized that a debacle is either “a fuck-up” or “a flood.” I liked that too—the doubleness, the fracture vs. overwhelming rush. The idea, then, of writing poems that were somehow one or the other of those things—that evoked or addressed one or the other of those things (even only tangentially)—was instantly really interesting to me. So once I had the word (and I needed it twice—as a reminder of its doubleness), I had an atmosphere of associations and sounds to play with and against.

I was also at the time laid up with a broken foot—one of those poetry accidents that can’t be transformed into a moment of transcendence, but it had something to do with Dean Young’s bathtub… Anyway, I was sitting a lot (more than I usually do) on the couch, emailing back and forth with my brother, Nate Pritts, who was sending me tons of the poems that would wind in his new book RIGHT NOW MORE THAN EVER, and we were both reading a lot of Coleridge and Wordsworth, and also books about them—including The Friendship by Adam Sisman about the genesis and writing of the Lyrical Ballads and the falling out between Coleridge & Wordsworth after its publication. I was reading Jon Anderson then too. I was reading some Galaxy Book or other. My daughter Agnes was two. I was broken, but on the mend. I was loving life, and missing it entirely, thinking about what-ifs and phantoms. Just trying like everyone else to be normal. Making waffles and bacon for breakfast, on crutches. That was the fuck-up part.

Of course, that’s not the end. I healed up finally after surgery (metal rod in my foot)—four months on crutches, another in a boot. I started walking. I went to China. I started running again. We made more waffles and French toast, too. Agnes who was two and three became suddenly five. This is the flood part. A constant rush. DEBACLE DEBACLE. Life comes in waves. 

3. What genre does your book fall under?


4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I would get exactly the same cast that Julian Temple (who directed the Sex Pistols’ Great Rock-n-Roll Swindle and more recently The Filth and the Fury) got for his movie Pandaemonium, which is a (not historically accurate, but awesome nevertheless) movie about the writing of Coleridge and Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads. Despite the film’s historical inaccuracies, Temple and his actors capture pretty brilliantly something of Coleridge and Wordsworth’s different aesthetics and temperaments. Actually, I’d really love to skip the actors altogether and get Coleridge to play Debacle and Wordsworth to play (the other) Debacle. Breton would play himself of course. Ronnie James Dio would do the soundtrack. The mighty Paul Violi would make a cameo as the guy who tells me not to screw it up.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Life falls apart and then comes back together—with waffles, Sir Philip Sydney and the weirdest shit ever!

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I started writing the poems in 2009 (except for one poem from 2007 that I added near the end of the process), and I finished writing them in early 2011… About two years.

7. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See above.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say flat out that my wife and daughter—my domestic situation—the “surrealism” (used loosely) of ordinary living—all play a huge part in this book. The sounds of a little girl playing, of dancing in the kitchen, bacon hissing, the music created intimately interactively with the people one loves, the worry that it all might go away—and the alchemy of all of it, the ridiculous magic, the awe inspiring sense of feeling like sort of a disaster, but knowing in the grand scheme of things that one is not and being grateful—and going on—that’s part of the foundation of the book. Everything is normal, and totally strange because of it. 

I also can’t say enough how indispensible the friendship and correspondence with Nate was in all of this. Many of the poems in the book are direct responses to things he sent me. I’d get a poem from him, and immediately set about responding in kind. This immediate, and wholly charged, back-and-forth went on for months. I’ve rarely experienced that kind of sustained reactivity in writing, but it’s something I court as much as possible, both through collaboration and just staying in close touch with other human beings as hard as I can.

8. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

108 two-line sonnets! (No, I’m not sure what a two-line sonnet is either, but there are 108 of them in this book.)

Also, and on a more serious note, Adam Fell, who is a brilliant poet, and, for the public record, a dear friend of mine, said this about the book in an email: “[Debacle Debacle] has a burning domesticity, an anxiousness. It is a dream of one's family in danger, and a waking from that dream to make waffles and bacon for them. It really really LOVES the world, and hates it too. It should. This is a book of quiet political and personal decision.” I hope he’s right about that.
9. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book will be published by H_NGM_N Books in May of 2013.

My tagged writers for next week are: