flood psalm, my fourth chapbook, will be emerging any day now through the wondrous Dancing Girl Press! More news to follow. . .
in the way of harbors, my third chapbook, can also be found through Dancing Girl Press.
On in the way of harbors:
“The poems in Alexandra Mattraw’s in the way of harbors arrive “where the land abandons itself every season.” Charged up on the ineffable — “what cleaves past to present” — they leave their light (“sun-tricks”) palpitating on the page. The acutely scored and sculpted sonic range reaches a full-throated pitch I’ve only experienced in the work of such masters as Gustaf Sobin and Barbara Guest.” — Joseph Massey
Within in the way of harbors, Mattraw extracts the essential vibrancy of life and displays these droplets and pools for our wonder. An onlooker of a large expanse of landscape might see wildness, emptiness, the largesse of the indescribable, but Mattraw manages to draw our attention both inward and outward, connecting the existential dilemma with the majesty of the minutia within the natural world. This book conjures a journey home in an unfamiliar place: “there is little inside a road// she could keep”. It names the mysterious with power, claiming it within language that transforms in each reading, shifting through a multiplicity of meanings:
my breath / slips
in the bright suddenly / a woman
draped in farmery
wheat fields sheath.
in the way of harbors creates a shell to hold a world, the invitational voice within it belongs to the page, belongs to us. — Raina Leon
A verbal Penelope concurrently weaving and unraveling the death shroud of language, Alexandra Mattraw endows her chapbook these threads a sound with a deftness and a potency that both reveal and conceal what possible sense lies beyond the gorgeously sensate. With lines such as “Creaks twist a juniper / bone claw upturned to demand // naming. You argue but cacti / bloom saffron one day a year,” Mattraw subordinates semantics to syntax in order to evoke multiple yearnings: for life, for loss, for identity, for dissolution into nature. I encourage you to become her literary suitor and experience firsthand the haunting beauty of these poems.-John F. Buckley, author of Sky Sandwiches, co-author of Poets’ Guide to America
PROJECTION is available HERE at Achiote Press.
“Alexandra Mattraw’s poems seduce a reader in many ways: with the clarity and beauty of their language, with deft poetic skills, with exotic subject matter, and, most important of all for me, with a penetrating poetic intelligence. In Mattraw’s chapbook, Projection, the poems interact with the reader and with each other, slowly and subtly altering the reader’s perception of the world. The rhythms and the language change to offer us shifting landscape, dream and hallucination and “reality” combined in an intoxicating mixture. Any new work by Alexandra Mattraw is a must read, original and unpredictable and full of dazzling excitements.” — Edward Smallfield, Apogee Press
“Projection has no page numbers. Mattraw’s gaze sees beyond the distracting details to the thing itself and, in her assured poems, writes toward an undivided wholeness seldom seen in contemporary poetry. The title poem begins, ‘How we love what’s hidden’ and these poems are one singular litany illuminating and momentarily lifting the ‘weight of a darkness we invented.'”
— Kevin Simmonds, poet, musician & filmmaker; author of Mad for Meat