Monday, May 23, 2011

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts; the co-founder of Verse press (now part of Wave Books); and was co-translator of the final work of Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney's, Bomb and Paris Review, among other places.

From his Q & A with Carolyn Kellogg at the Los Angeles Times:

Jacket Copy: Your poems include references to pop culture, like Diet Coke, bicycles and White Castle as well as high culture, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Do you ever worry that people who get one won't get the other?

Matthew Zapruder: No, not really. Although I do like the idea of someone who only reads Coleridge not knowing what a Diet Coke or bicycle is. "What is this two-wheeled contraption? And this delicious fizzy concoction that won't stretch my waistcoat?" I think a lot of things in poems seem obscure, when if they were in a different form of writing they wouldn't. People would just look them up on Google and go on with their lives.

JC: Do you like reading your poems out loud?

MZ: Yes, although it often makes me feel nervous and self-conscious. I write my poems to communicate with other people, and it is a very powerful experience to actually stand in front of an audience -- or for that matter, sit with one person -- and be in the poem together. Though risky, because if the poem doesn't cross over and make a connection everyone can feel kind of awful. The single biggest change in my own writing over the course of several books has been to be more...[read on]
Check out some of Zapruder's poems available online.

--Marshal Zeringue