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Matthew Olzmann

Visiting Poet

“Each poem is, symbolically, a star—and also, often, a letter, elegy, and ode,” Julie Marie Wade writes about Matthew Olzmann’s latest collection, Constellation Route (Alice James Books). Exploring social and political tensions, ruptures in reality, and the act of astonishment in the midst of cynicism, Matthew Olzmann reckons with radical wonder in this latest series of epistolary poems. This collection continues Olzmann’s achievements of playful, profound, daring collections where, as Gregory Pardlo commends, he “reveal[s] a cosmos of exchanges that delivers absurdity as easily as it delivers the comfort of our familiars. Olzmann makes these appointed rounds with humor, awe, and grace.”

Author of two previous collections, Mezzanines (Alice James Books), which was awarded the Kundiman Prize, and Contradictions in the Design (Alice James Books), Matthew Olzmann is also a recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Kundiman Prize. He received his B.A. at the University of Michigan, Dearborn and his M.F.A. at Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, where he now teaches. He is also a Senior Lecturer of Creative Writing at Dartmouth College and Poetry Editor for Hyphen Magazine.

Co-sponsored by the department of Africana Studies

Featured works by Matthew Olzmann:
Fourteen Letters to a 52-Hertz Whale
Astronomers Locate a New Planet
Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem

About Matthew

Poetry Center Reading Date: November 2023