Matthew Dickman

Matthew Dickman

Poet, Author of All American Poem

“[Matthew Dickman] knows something about the sorrow of this world, its call for a kind of toughness of spirit and a sensitivity that must go underground if one is to survive and, more importantly here, the violence that such poverty recreates and echoes in the lives of the dispossessed…But it is his artfulness and large spirit, telescoping without sentimentality the single outlook of a speaker who has escaped such conditions and now looks back, as bluesy as such projects go, that gives his poems a universality of feeling, an expressive lyricism of reflection, and heartrending allure.”  —Major Jackson

A remarkable young writer, Matthew Dickman won the APR/Honnickman First Book Prize for All-American Poem (2008), chosen by Tony Hoagland and published by Copper Canyon Press. A book of great hopefulness, gratitude, and praise, it plumbs the ecstatic nature of daily life, where pop culture and sacred longing go hand in hand. The work is expansive and intimate, rushing forth like a river, with a fluid unstoppable energy. Matthew Lippman praises it thus: “The language is a music, and one has to understand that when you jump into the poems they will take you places you could have never imagined.” Dorianne Laux says his poems are “Ravenous for life, for love, for forgiveness.”

All American Poem has also won the 2009 Oregon Book Award for Poetry.His poems have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New Yorker and Tin House. He has received fellowships for his work from the Michener Center for Writers, the Vermont Studio Centers, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Matthew has been profiled in Poets & Writers and the New Yorker; with his twin brother, poet Michael Dickman. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

 

About ALL AMERICAN POEM (2008)

“Matthew Dickman’s all-American poems are the epitome of the pleasure principle; as clever as they are, they refuse to have ulterior intellectual pretensions; really, I think, they are spiritual in character-free and easy and unself-conscious, lusty, full of sensuous aspiration…We turn loose such poets into our culture so that they can provoke the rest of us into saying everything on our minds.” —Tony Hoagland, APR/Honickman First Book Prize judge

All American Poem plumbs the ecstatic nature of our daily lives. In these unhermetic poems, pop culture and the sacred go hand in hand. As Matthew Dickman said in an interview, he wants the “people from the community that I come from”-a blue-collar neighborhood in Portland, Oregon-to get his poems. “Also, I decided to include anything I wanted in my poems…Pepsi, McDonald’s, the word ‘ass.'”