BOOKS >>> RADIANT ACTION by Matt Hart
And be sure to check out Matt Hart’s RADIANT COMPANION (Monster House Press)!!
‘Radiant Action’ is part reading list, part diary, part record review, part prayer. He throws it all in, rips it up, and starts again. He is not above flowers or the moon or love for his family. Imagine Kenneth Patchen fronting Black Flag: a voice brave with beauty vs. all of the guitars in the world vs. all of the fears of our fathers. [O]ne of the most me-shaking questions ‘Radiant Action’ makes me ask: how can anyone protect anyone from anything? Is there a magic word, a perfect phrase that might magically save us all from the slaughter? Matt Hart is the poet who taught me that, when in doubt, ask a question. Don’t trust answers. Answers are dead ends. A poem is all possibility, and Matt’s is a mouth that takes it all in. Matt has the guts to do whatever-the-what he wants.
—Ben Kopel, author of VICTORY!
In [Radiant Action’s] long, loping stanzas, we get Black Cats and TNT, pink polka dots, Dante’s Inferno, Slayer, cherries and asparagus. The inclusion of such a disparate range of material seems illustrative of an organizing idea: “Leave out nothing.” To be sure, these pieces give an effect of an unmediated experience of the world in its messiness and beauty and anger and delight and confusion. Matt Hart scans the landscape and takes everything in, organizing it into one massive soup. But through it all, patterns clearly emerge; everything orbits around the organizing voice, and it’s the voice that cuts through the mess, arranging the noise into “one giant cacophonous euphony / of unity.”
—Jennifer Moore, author of The Veronica Maneuver
Matt Hart is the author of six books of poems, including Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012), Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013), and Blue Jay Slayer, an art and poetry collaboration with artist Ken Henson (Aurore Press, 2016). Hart’s poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including The Academy of American Poets online, Big Bell, Cincinnati Review, Coldfront, Columbia Poetry Review, H_NGM_N, Harvard Review, Jam Tarts Magazine, jubilat, Kenyon Review online, Lungfull!, and POETRY, among others. His awards include a Pushcart Prize, a 2013 individual artist grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he is Associate Professor in Creative Writing and the Chair of Liberal Arts at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He plays guitar and shouts in the bands TRAVEL and THE LOUDEST SOUNDER.
IN THE BEGINNING >> Matt Hart on Radiant Action
Listen to Matt read “XXX”