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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 Wisconsin

Matthew Zapruder
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 wings

on the sides of the building 

more quickly than you might 

imagine mechanically 

rise like a clumsy

thoughtful bird 

thinking now

I am at last ready 

over the lake

that has many moods

to fly but it will not

and people ask

who are we who see 

so much evil and try 

to stop it and fail 

and know we are no longer 

for no reason worrying 

the terrible governors 

are evil or maybe 

just mistaken and nothing 

can stop them not even 

the workers who keep 

working even when 

it snows on their heads

and on the bridge 

that keeps our cars 

above the water 

for an hour 

in northern California 

today it snowed 

and something

happened people 

turned their beautiful 

sparkling angry faces up

Copyright © 2011 by Matthew Zapruder. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2011 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
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
poem

the orange ball arcs perfectly into the orange hoop

making a sound like a drawer closing

you will never get to hold that

I am here and nothing terrible will ever happen

across the street the giant white house full of kids

turns the pages of an endless book

poem
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