About this poet

Matthew Zapruder was born in 1967 in Washington, D.C. He received a BA from Amherst College, an MA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Zapruder’s first book, American Linden, was published by Tupelo Press in 2002 after winning the Tupelo Press Editors’ Prize. He is also the author of the poetry collections Sun Bear (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Pajamaist (Copper Canyon Press, 2006), and Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon Press, 2010). His honors include the May Sarton poetry award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

About Zapruder’s poems, Tony Hoagland has said, "Zapruder has not just a deft manner, but an inwardness which is sturdy and generous, a little reminiscent of the James Wright of quite a different era."

With Joshua Beckman, Zapruder coedits Wave Books. He lives in San Francisco and teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Poem for Japan

Matthew Zapruder
all day staying inside

listening to a podcast

discuss how particles 

over the Pacific 

might drift 

I knew thinking 

whenever cloud

scares me 

I am not alone

my umbrella slept 

in the closet

I placed a few nouns

in beautiful cages

then let them out

touched with my mind

the lucky cat

asleep in the deli

I always scratch 

his head he slightly

raises to meet my hand

all over the remains 

contaminated shadowmen 

in blue suits that seem 

ecclesiastical now 

that science is 

a religion crawl 

the emperor 

everyone has forgotten

is speaking 

no one knows 

how to be 

loving and also 

hope the wind 

in a certain 

and not another 

direction will blow

Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Zapruder. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Zapruder. Used with permission of the author.

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of several books of poetry including, Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon Press, 2010).

by this poet

poem

All summer
it was on fire
I was as always
in California,
looking out my window,
discovering nothing,
then flying back
east far
above those forests
filled with black
smoke to feel
again that way
I will keep
failing to name.
O the same mistakes

poem
In Milwaukee it is snowing

on the golden statue 

of the 1970s television star

whose television house

was in Milwaukee 

and also on the Comet Cafe

and on the white museum 

the famous Spanish architect 

built with a glass 

elevator through it

and a room with a button

that when you press it

makes two
poem
It's the start of baseball season,
and I am thinking again 
as I do every year 
in early April now 
that I live in California 
where afternoon is a blue 
span to languidly cross 
of those long ones 
you used to sort of sleep 
through getting drunk 
on many beers, lying 
next to your radio 
on a little square of