Featured Poet: Clay Matthews

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A while back, I started seeing the name, Clay Matthews, practically everywhere I looked, from the TOCs of my favorite journals to the lists of authors published by some of my favorite book presses. So I made it my business to check out his work. Perhaps I was seeking inspiration; maybe part of me was looking for a loose thread to pull (we are a petty lot at times). What I found, though, was exactly the kind of poet that America needs right now. With an ear for sound and an eye for craft, Matthews has the chops to be one of the top poets in Academia; he writes with grit, though, a working class honesty and strength reminiscent of Phil Levine. There’s vulnerability and tenderness here, too, as well as humor, so that one starts to wonder if there’s anything Matthews can’t do on a page.

Put another way, reading his poems fills me with much the same awe that I imagine I’d feel if I chanced upon an 800-pound gorilla deftly folding origami cranes to give to children after carving an ice sculpture and overhauling a tractor engine in record time.

So, yeah. I’m a fan.

SELECTED WORKS:

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The Dead Horses I Have Known

The Dead Horses I Have Known by Clay Matthews

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MoonPie Montage

MoonPie Montage by Clay Matthews

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Perpetual Motion Machine

Perpetual Motion Machine by Clay Matthews

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Limestone Antithesis

Limestone Antithesis by Clay Matthews

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Hagiography

Hagiography by Clay Matthews

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Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. His most recent book, Shore, was recently released from Cooper Dillon Books. His other books are Superfecta (Ghost Road Press), RUNOFF (BlazeVox), and Pretty, Rooster (Cooper Dillon). He teaches at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN, and edits poetry for the Tusculum Review.

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About Author

Michael Meyerhofer’s fifth book, Ragged Eden, was published by Glass Lyre Press. He has been the startled recipient of fourteen national writing awards including the James Wright Poetry Award, the Liam Rector First Book Award, the Brick Road Poetry Book Prize, and several chapbook prizes. His work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry, Rattle, Brevity, Ploughshares, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and other journals. He is also the author of a fantasy series. For more information and an embarrassing childhood photo, check out his website.

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