Synopses & Reviews
"Zapruder's poems don't merely attempt beauty; they attain it."The Boston Review
"Matthew Zapruder has a razor eye for the remnants and revenants of modern culture."The New York Times
"With dynamic, logically complex sentences, Zapruder posits a world that is both extraordinary and refreshingly ordinary."BOMB
Matthew Zapruder's poems begin in the faint inkling, in the bloom of thought, and then unfold into wide-reaching meditations on what it means to live in the contemporary moment, among plastic, statistics, and diet soda. Written in a direct, conversational style, the poems in Sun Bear display full-force why Zapruder is one of the most popular poets in America.
From "I Drink Bronze Light":
Great American summer lakes
right now I am flying above you
through a rare cloudless transparent sky
back to the city where it is always
cold even in summer
the round hole I press my face against
shows only a blue expanse
with white sails below
speckled exactly the way
the Aegean would have been
three thousand years ago
if one could have seen it from above
maybe riding in the dark claw
of a god who didn't care. . . .
Matthew Zapruder is a poet, translator, and editor at Wave Books. He is the author of three collections of poetry, and his book The Pajamaist won the William Carlos Williams Award. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in many publications, including BOMB, Harvard Review, Paris Review, the New Yorker, McSweeney's, and the Believer. He lives in San Francisco, California.
"Zapruder (Come On All You Ghosts) is at his most meditative and conscious in his fourth collection, displaying a gentle wit and willingness to let the smallest banality open to wider observation. Starkly honest about the state of the natural, human world, Zapruder implicates his own desires 'I need things/ no one can buy// and don't even know/ what they are// I know I belong/ in this new dark age' and lifestyle 'I want to go to sleep again and wake// somewhere and turn on the faucet/ without feeling as if I am destroying anything/ and drink some coffee that doesn't taste like blood.' What buoys the collection is his insistence on making the often disturbing facts of life not simply new, but strange and humorous in their familiarity: 'veryone worships us/ because we have declared our love/ they think we have.../ silently pondered/ the philosophical questions/ actually we were talking a lot/ about what we had for lunch.' Zapruder grasps both the absurd and tragic in the modern: 'When I go to the bank.../ hollow with desire.../ Toward my numbers/ I walk, a tragic/ precursor condemned/ to an easy life/ balanced on the suffering/ in another land/ of strangers I might/ someday speak to/ when I call to complain.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In a thought-scape rich with memories of friends and flower shops, unexpected and understated revelations, Zapruder spins modern unpunctuated soliloquies.
About the Author
Matthew Zapruder lives in San Francisco and works as an editor at Wave Books. He holds degrees from Amherst College, UC Berkeley, and the University of Massachusetts and is the author of three collections of poetry: American Linden, Come on All You Ghosts, and The Pajamaist, which won the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and was honored by Library Journal as one of the top ten poetry volumes of 2006. He is also co-translator of Secret Weapon, the final collection by the late Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu (Coffee House Press, 2007). The recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, Zapruder is a member of the permanent faculty at the low residency MFA in creative writing at UCR-Palm Desert as well as the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. His poems, essays and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in many publications, including Open City, Bomb, Harvard Review, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, The New Yorker, McSweeneys, The Believer and The Los Angeles Times.