Item description for American Linden by Matthew Zapruder...
It is rare to come across a first book that embraces the world---the way we see it, and the way it can be imagined---with such a wise and graceful mixture of humor, loss, intelligence, wit, self-deprecation, and hope. American Linden is such a first collection. The poems in this book are valuable, even necessary. They are, in the most important sense, love poems: to people, to ideas, to feelings, and to the mind itself, which---by means of language--- move with honesty, wit, and distinction among the fleeting things of this world.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.32" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.49" Weight: 0.63 lbs.
Release Date Oct 7, 2002
Publisher Tupelo Press
ISBN 193219505X ISBN13 9781932195057
Availability 0 units.
More About Matthew Zapruder
Matthew Zapruder holds degrees from Amherst College, UC Berkeley, and the University of Massachusetts. He is the author of COME ON ALL YOU GHOSTS (Copper Canyon Press, 2010); THE PAJAMAIST (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), which won the William Carlos Williams Award and was honored by Library Journal with a "Best Poetry Book of the Year" listing; and AMERICAN LINDEN (Tupelo Press, 2002). He lives in San Francisco and is an editor at Wave Books.
Reviews - What do customers think about American Linden?
Gritty and lyric in one breath Jun 30, 2006
Matthew Zapruder is the kind of poet you want to crack open over a beer far from home. Take the time to relish the imagery in this great collection, to let yourself walk the path of Zapruder's memories, to laugh at the outrageous (yet oh-so-right) nuggets of truth contained here. After soaking in a few of these poems you soon learn that you're in the confident hands of a searcher...and his way is open to anyone who wants to join him. Thanks, Matthew...for everything! I'm looking forward to "The Pajamaist!"
Fantastic. Sep 15, 2005
Matthew Zapruder, American Linden (Tupelo, 2002)
One of the drawbacks of having rooms full of books waiting for you to read them (and it's even worse if you have a library card and wide-ranging tastes) is that once in a while you hear good things about a book right after it comes out, put it on the list of "hmm, I should read that some day," and then promptly forget about it for three years. This is exactly what happened to me with Figments guitarist Matthew Zapruder's American Linden, and I'm kicking myself for not having just gone out and found a copy as soon as I heard good press about it.
Zapruder's work is the kind of stuff you read simply for the pleasure of hearing the words flow by in your head.
"Where I inspect myself for a black and white cat who hides my sluggishness from inspectors. His name is Joselito." ("Park Slope")
There is a great deal of depth and definition to Zapruder's word choices; so many of these poems work so well that it's extremely difficult to find fault with a single word. (One wonders how much of this was workshopped or criticized by outside sources; one suspects the answer is "none of it.") It's work that says its piece and gets out, though you'll likely be left pondering what, exactly, that piece might be.
In an age where it seems anyone with a connection to other media are pumping out books of poetry to no end (viz. recent howlingly bad collections by Jimmy Stewart, Jimmy Carter, Jewel, Ally Sheedy, etc. etc. ad nauseam), it's nice to find someone who can work this well in both genres. Highly recommended. **** ½
GENTLE GIANT Dec 10, 2003
This book has undeniable power and is in no way soft. Misreading it as soft or non-threatening only reveals one's abject cynicism. These poems delve deeply and honestly right into the center of the speaker's heart and for that reason are often painful, sometimes lighthearted, and always honest. This is a book by the genuine article writing real poems.
A mobile language May 22, 2003
Matthew Zapruder's American Linden is a sometimes surreal, often funny, always genuinely expressed book of linguistic constellations. He mentions Spanish and Greek and logic, Tagalog and tunes and melody, birdsong and currencies, and he writes "I am guilty of secret constellations." Yet these constellations are not altogether secret, but rather playfully at play, put into motion like a wonderful mobile alternately inducing delight, clash, harmony, distracted thoughtfulness, etc. The pieces of the mobile, dangling as if from thin metal ligatures, are clouds and golems, farms and days, foreign currency and flowers and breasts and noon, and they assemble and reassemble in shifting clustered galaxies that I thoroughly enjoyed gazing at, stumbling across, chuckling over.
It is a book made of inventive and continuous, quirky and comedic, unrolling threads of metaphor, many surprising but sensible as the cat whose "mother was a sofa, a whole/ neighborhood of comfort, support,/ understanding..." In this, and in many creative reversals and convergences, he causes elements to flow into one another, creating an odd, complex, (but not dissonant or off-putting) amalgam of yet almost intuitive experience-"when that ten AM birdfeeder skylight/ perfectly lifted/ from morning hour/ halted a moment beyond my fingertips/ to perch half still/ and three quarters in motion/ a sketch of a hummingbird..." He understands the magician's and the comedian's craft of the set up, the teasing of expectation, the timing of delivery, the slip into an unforeseen magnificence of surprise. But here it is without the magician's grandiloquent drama- this is a book and a craft and a language not caught up with or in itself but rather generous, comic, and sometimes, idiosyncratically resplendent.
The Joys of First Person Singular May 22, 2003
Writing about poetry is ludicrous, especially when the poems are written by Matthew Zapruder. The poems in AMERICAN LINDEN are intensely personal, not only in style of placing words on paper, but also in the spectum of ideas that flow through his brain. Many of these gems are about the actual attempt to write poems - aborted starts, frustrated beginnings. But when this poet sets foot outside and allows his kaleidoscopic gaze to pause on barns, birds, memories, imaginings, then his mastery of form and communication sets sail and the results are fresh and scintillating. It is ludicrous to write about poetry....this poet distills beyond essence ideas that only tap at our imagination. "I try to be a good hillside/my eyesight salty and clear,/and hold still all night. /..../ All the next hours will be empty shelves./ Until I'm a storm,/ and only a flower knows me." I suppose one has to say something in a review: Read these please.