Jake Syersak & I, in Conversation

Excited to see my year+ collaboration with poet Jake Syersak find a home at Heavy Feather Review. Jake and I found each other through Colorado Review, realizing our first books’ poetics and themes share affinities. After months of correspondence, we decided to archive our discussion in a tandem interview about our work then and now. You can find it HERE . As Jake explains, “What follows is that correspondence, which we contributed to in fits and starts, throughout 2019 and 2020. It is a portrait of two early-career poets feeling out the vibrations that bring single voices together.”

We fell into weather, now available!

we fellWe fell into weather is now available at SPD and Cultural Society! Release readings include 3/19 at Moe’s, 3/25 at City Lights, 4/6 at Unnameable Books (Brooklyn) and 4/7 at Codex Books (Brooklyn). About the book, Rusty Morrison writes, “Alexandra Mattraw’s We fell into weather is not only essential reading for its presentation of how an individual’s experiences can offer insight into some of the most critical challenges we face today. Her use of image, detail, the placement of language on the page, her diction choices, and her variations regarding syntax—each formal choice contributes to creating a constellation of difference that exposes not only unexpected revelations regarding the speaking agent’s interior perceptions, but also the social environment in which these scenes of intimacy and obsession, history and fantasy, are set. While one tends to see forms as abstract organizing principals, in Mattraw’s poems forms become actors in the drama and members of a chorus offering insight. They can be received in what I’ll call a language of physical dimension, of gesture, of shape and spatial relations. Thus, as we read, we can begin to perceive how, in our own lives, the forms which we each use to create our understanding of ourselves and our place in the culture we inhabit are as active in opening or limiting our lives as anything in the world we face today.”

and MK Arnold writes,

“At heart conceptual and formally experimental, Alexandra Mattraw’s We fell into weather creates visual and sonic textures that link toxicity — environmental, historical, domestic — with neurodivergence and disease. These poems are alive with musicality and internal rhyme, ‘the way hay rips scars into wrists the way granite / field bloom back bruises,’ while offering glimpses into the stuff of everyday life – the toddler’s cough, the broken lamp taped back together. In Mattraw’s spare and elegant lines, an image will crystallize briefly as a family drives away from California wildfires, but then disperse like vapor, like ‘ash . . . Rend[s] the visibility of air.’ Attuned to the sublime in nature and in language, this is a poet who invites our close and sustained attention, who invites us to improve ourselves.”