Matthew Pennock

Sudden Dog

Alice James Books 2012

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in PoetryNew Books Network April 6, 2013 John Ebersole

In Sudden Dog, the voice we encounter is a moody one to say the least. We find a poet who at times seems to...

In Sudden Dog, the voice we encounter is a moody one to say the least. We find a poet who at times seems to believe the entire human project is stupid – and I mean all of it. While at other times we meet a speaker so desperate for an authentic experience that he claws violently inside and straight through the visible world to uncover just one thing that can’t be reduced to a physical event – something invisible in each of us that is too bittersweet to stop looking for. But most surprising, after the poet’s cantankerous and difficult spirit stops to rest, we see and hear a speaker of such surprising and provocative tenderness that it made me realize these poems are not complaints of victimization, but doubtful prayers of a man who refuses to surrender his dignity to a sick world. In the interview, the poet and I discuss a variety of topics: his growth as a poet, how his first book Sudden Dog was published, the way his poems behave across the page, and much much more. I hope you enjoy our discussion as much as I did.

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