small siren, my full length collection of poetry, will be out in 2018 with The Cultural Society.

Of small siren, poet Aaron Shurin describes,

“When good poetry hits, it animates the actual, it becomes the actual. That’s small siren: a serious romp of constructive music that is what it says. Science and nature unlock their mysteries by being precise; in small siren the words — cut, spliced, compressed — form units of attention enacting the physical world so precisely that even the sun and the moon ride their arcs untroubled. Across cities and seas, Alexandra Mattraw’s language isn’t attached to images; it comes out of them, like a birthright. The authenticity is declarative and unmistakable: ‘A sign is a block, an island, a cloud, a clock.’  She makes it real.”

flood psalm, my fourth chapbook, is just out through the wondrous Dancing Girl Press!

About flood psalm:floordpsalm3

“Here is the body and Here, beyond the body, too. Mattraw’s flood psalm occupies the contested zones of that which is, that which is becoming and that which will be.

‘As absolute statements falter’—in the dilation and duration of boundaries—this work swells inside of time, marking the overwhelmed and overwhelming implied violence of definition and the parenthetical echoing of relationships, motherhood, birth and re-birth. ”  —Douglas Piccinnini, author of Blood Oboe

“The psalms, the words that accompanied the music, are revivified in the hands of poet Alexandra Mattraw. The tightly woven web of poems that comprise the little book of flood psalms query our lives, our physical bodies as openings, as portals to each other.
We are porous creatures, these poems elegantly remind us. We are in constant communion with our fellow humans, awash in connectivity to our kindred, animals and environs ‘a/dahlia ripples signals through my ankle and out to the/living.’  Or elsewhere, as in the poem “The Fray,” ‘Inside her tide rushes to pulse/then hushes mine. . .’ Often these moments of intimate connectivity are exhilarating to behold, and sometimes they reveal the fraught underbelly of our most intimate relations, ‘how many/times /you apologize I / become an echo / a hollow / a hollow/ who/ I really wish / was sorry.’
Though, in all this ebb and flow, there is embedded in this book, a beautiful mystery to be contemplated for a lifetime, ‘To recover what name is hidden inside my own, . . .’ “
–Tiff Dressen, author of Songs from the Astral Bestiary

in the way of harbors, my third chapbook, can also be found through Dancing Girl Press. harbors

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

these threads a sound is available HERE at Beard of Bees.

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 

projPROJECTION 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


One Response to “Books”

  1. Rajiv Ragu said

    Mrs. Mattraw,

    Awesome website! How are things, are you still at Harker? Congrats on the Projection, I would love to check it out!


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