Rapture & the Big Bam

by Matt Donovan

$11.95

With funky tempos and stretched, staggering lines, Matt Donovan’s new sequence interrogates the ways our daily lives teem with beauty and loss. He summons figures engrained in American culture to portray collisions of pleasure with tragedy, and to offer evidence for what creation can cost. As “each day lurches us toward … / things dying, things newborn,” the poet of Rapture & the Big Bam can be either a companion in mourning or a celebrant of unbeaten anticipation.

Format: paperback

ISBN: 978-1-936797-94-3 Categories: , ,

Winner of the Snowbound Chapbook Award, selected by Lia Purpura

With funky tempos and stretched, staggering lines, Matt Donovan’s new sequence interrogates the ways our daily lives teem with beauty and loss. He summons figures engrained in American culture to portray collisions of pleasure with tragedy, and to offer evidence for what creation can cost. As “each day lurches us toward … / things dying, things newborn,” the poet of Rapture & the Big Bam can be either a companion in mourning or a celebrant of unbeaten anticipation.

from Elegy With Mistakes All through It

How the crash took weeks of planning — a dwarfing
Ringling Brothers wind-snared tent, the soon-to-be-junked
engines painted with lime-green trim, miles of track
veering from the main Katy line & freshly dug wells
for the tens of thousands who watched The Crush Collision,
an arranged wreck to scrap two trains already doomed
in order to make a buck. The way the whistle-locked
engines plunged the track, howling for nothing before
pummeling head-on, & when the boilers ruptured,
shrapnel pelted down like rain & even though a few
were killed in the stampede, the crowd sprinted back
to the still-hot metal, prying up souvenirs. Scott Joplin,
we think, also looked on, concocting a song in aftermath,
no matter the distance between the piano’s syncopated clack
& that still-steaming ruin. This is guesswork, of course —
nearly all the traces of Joplin’s roundabout path turned
long ago to char . . .

Additional information

Weight .4 lbs
Dimensions 6 x .5 x 9 in

 

donovanauthorphoto2014Matt Donovan is the author of a previous book of poems, Vellum (Mariner, 2007), and a collection of essays, A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption (Trinity University Press, 2016). He is the recipient of a Rome Prize in Literature, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Pushcart Prize, an National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University. He teaches at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

 

 

“The amazing achievement in Matt Donovan’s Rapture & the Big Bam is how well he balances the drive to speak intimately with the drive to shape a public (even civic) thought. His ease in following a leading image, trusting entirely that the image will speak far beyond anything he might have planned, makes for an authentic experience of surprise for a reader. His ear and his sense of line are controlled and idiosyncratic, glorious, raging, and fully in love with discovery.” — Lia Purpura