Cheri P, December 19, 2014 (view all comments by Cheri P)
I haven't read poetry in a long while, and this was a good re-entry into the practice. Contemporary, full of references I "get." Dickman is good at language and rhythm, and I enjoyed reading many of the lines aloud. I'll probably revisit this collection a year or two down the line.
My favorite aspects of these poems? They're emotional and intellectual. Sensual and also blunt about sexuality. They're about complex emotions involving people and things and symbols. They're now.
squirrelah, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by squirrelah)
Easily my favourite book of 2011. Expressive and modern poetry with a nice local (for Portlanders) touch. Beautiful and sensual, with a firm grounding in reality. Love Matthew Dickman, and I can't wait to see what else comes out of his mind as time moves along...
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Jessica Varin, September 24, 2009 (view all comments by Jessica Varin)
Matthew Dickman’s All American Poem is the poetry collection I’ve been waiting for. It’s straight-forward without insulting my intelligence. It’s aware of the world. It’s accessable. It’s brilliantly written and boldly executed.
Dickman writes poetry that’s unpretentious and engaging. Place, pop-culture, lust, and love are just a few of the subjects taken on in this collection. Surprisingly, I was able to read several of Dickman’s multi-page poems back to back. The masters have yet to achieve this kind of harmony with my brain. Matthew Dickman writes the way I aspire to write.
This is contemporary poetry at it’s best. Read it.
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terra, September 20, 2008 (view all comments by terra)
Even if you don't consider yourself a person who typically "likes" poetry, you'll enjoy reading this collection. Matthew's writing is straightforward and relevant, easy for the brain and heart to understand. Treat yourself to a copy.
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All-American Poem (Apr Honickman 1st Book Award)
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
American Poetry Review -
All American Poem embraces the ecstatic nature of our daily lives. Introduction by Tony Hoagland.
Poetry. Said judge Tony Hoagland of Matthew Dickman's ALL AMERICAN POEM, winner of the APR/Honnickman First Book Prize: "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." Dickman is from Portland, Oregon, and has been honored with writing fellowships from the Michener Center, Vermont Studio Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. His poems have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New Yorker, Tin House, and Lyric. When not attending a writer's residency, he works in a bakery, where he can "shape five baguettes in under three minutes."
Winner of the 2008 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Award.
“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
"Dickman crystallizes and celebrates human contact, reminding us...that our best memories, those most worth holding on to, those that might save us, will be memories of love....The background, then, is a downbeat America resolutely of the moment; the style, though, looks back to the singing free verse of Walt Whitman and Frank O'Hara....(Dickman's) work sings with all the crazy vereve of the West." —Los Angeles Times
"Toughness with a smile....(Dickman) breathes the air of Whitman, Kerouac, O'Hara, and Koch, each of whom pushed against the grain of what poetry and writing was supposed to be in their times." —New Haven Review
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.’”
There is no one to save us
because there is no need to be saved.
I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowed
the front yard. When the stranger wearing a sheer white dress
covered in a million beads
slinks toward me like an over-sexed chandelier suddenly come to life,
I take her hand in mine. I spin her out
and bring her in. This is the almond grove
in the dark slow dance.
It is what we should be doing right now. Scraping
for joy . . .
Matthew Dickman is from Portland, Oregon, and has been honored with writing fellowships from the Michener Center, Vermont Studio Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
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