Interview with Matthea Harvey

Photo by R. Casper

I attended the National Book Critics Circle Award finalists reading yesterday and was glad to have heard Matthea Harvey read a few excerpts from her amazing book, Modern Life.

I wish they would have given the readers more than five minutes to read their excerpts but I guess it's better than nothing. I wasn't familiar with the other poetry finalists, except for Mary Jo Bang, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that Harvey takes home the prize.

The poems that make up Modern Life are a pleasure to read and reread - for me anyway - because of the unsettling, bizarre, and often hilarious universes Harvey creates. From flowers made of ham, graffiti-spraying Griffins, a poem from the point of view of ship figureheads, a Robo-Boy, to the post-apocalyptic "Terror of the Future/The Future of Terror " abecedarian sections. Pick up a copy if can.

From The Poetry Foundation:

Matthea Harvey’s latest book, Modern Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, is obsessed with devastated worlds and hybrid forms of life. Her poems have always teemed with witty wordplay, but now they come with an undercurrent of trauma. In two extended abecedarian sequences, the “Terror of the Future” and “The Future of Terror,” Harvey explores the dysfunction between civilian and military populations in a stark, futuristic environment. In the “Robo-Boy” series of poems, a robot-boy struggles to define himself in human terms while confronting a brutal and confusing world.

Read Matthea Harvey interviewed by Jeannine Hall Gailey.

Visit Matthea Harvey's website here, where you can find written and audio samples of some of her poems.

Read a review of Harvey's Modern Life from The New York Times here.

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