poem index


Matthew Zapruder

Washington , DC , United States
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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 Why Poetry (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2017), a book of prose about poetry, as well as 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 Oakland, California, and teaches at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga.

by this poet


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

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

(for E. and G.)

Hello beautiful talented
dark semi-optimists of June,
from far off I send my hopes
Brooklyn is sunny, and the ghost
of Whitman who loved everyone
is there to see you say what
can never be said, something like
partly I promise my whole life
to try to