Night Logic

by Matthew Gellman



“Night Logic is an exquisite suite of poems rendering a family challenged by loss. In the aftermath, a young son becomes a de facto father to his younger brother. And a mother becomes a tragic and heroic figure. Matthew Gellman illuminates this dark domestic space while the speaker of these poems struggles with bullying, violence and his own sexuality. The poems in Night Logic are both mythic and grounded, formidable in their affection and insight.”

–from the Judge’s Citation by Denise Duhamel



Format: Paperback
Published: August 2023

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ISBN: 978-1-946482-94-5 Categories: , ,

“Matthew Gellman brings a level of exactness—in diction, image, and sound—to bear on poems that are intensely personal and yet also generously available to the reader. It is exciting to read work so determined to be truthful; and whose truth-telling functions, bravely, as an implicit political gesture. Beauty is extra; and abundant.” —April Bernard

“So alive with tenderness, so lit with precision, Night Logic left me breathless. Each poem brims with exquisite lines and indelible images, yet the experience of reading them together is a glimmering journey all of its own. From ‘the blue vein / of suburb and out toward the cedar forest’ to the ‘many questions the rain in a city / will always turn into answers,’ Matthew Gellman finds the parts left out of the story and writes them into astonishing light. I know I will return to these poems again and again with gratitude and awe.” —Chloe Honum

The poems in Night Logic deal with queer coming-of-age and desire, as well as the persistent impact that childhood trauma can have on queer relationship-building. Focusing on the speaker’s longing to be seen, as well as his frequent desire to hide, Night Logic charts the speaker’s journey out of the closet and into an adult world that is both daunting and liberating at once. These confessional poems use the natural imagery of the speaker’s childhood to evoke longing and loss, as the landscape around him functions as both mirror and conduit. Again and again, the poems analyze the role that the closet has played in his struggles with self-articulation, as well as his parents’ divorce and the ways in which that rupture disorients him in his search for connection (romantic or otherwise). Night Logic explores the psychology of suppression in lucid, cinematic detail, presenting an elegant portrait of the pain that often comes with individuation.

Matthew Gellman is a 2022-2023 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. His poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Narrative, The Common, Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, the Missouri Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere. Matthew’s debut poetry collection, BEFORELIGHT, was selected by Tina Chang as the winner of the 22nd annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from BOA Editions, Ltd. The recipient of awards and honors from Brooklyn Poets, the Academy of American Poets, the Adroit Journal’s Djanikian Scholars Program and the New York State Summer Writers Institute, he holds an MFA from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn.

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Weight 0.3 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 9 in