Matt Hart, poet, reads his poem, “Upon Seeing Again the Thriving” from his new book, “Debacle Debacle,” at Stephen F. Austin State University Nov. 22, 2013, in front of over 50 students and faculty.
Matt Hart, poet, visited the Stephen F. Austin State University campus on Nov. 22 to give a reading of his poems to students and faculty. He read work from his new book, “Debacle Debacle,” and some poems not included in the book.
Hart is co-founder and editor of “Forklift Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety.” He is the author of four previous books of poems:
He has also produced many chapbooks of his work.
Among others, Hart’s work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Big Bell, Cincinnati Review, Coldfront, Columbia Poetry Review, H_NGM_N, Harvard Review, jubilat, Lungfull!, and Post Road. 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.
Currently, Hart lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.
Hart was invited to read at SFA by Dr. John McDermott, the coordinator of creative writing in the English department, who he met at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Hart is the last guest reader of the semester for the English department.
“The first time I ever saw Matt read was on a very hot night in Vermont, in a little theater that is dedicated to Burgess Meredith,” McDermott said. “I didn’t know what to expect. And I felt like I had been at a concert for three hours. I wasn’t doing any work and I was the one sweating, and I walked out and I said to my friend, ‘That was amazing.’ And I thought to myself, ‘Burgess Meredith would have loved that.’”
His Writing Process
Students were given the opportunity to have Hart sit in on some of their creative writing classes. From there, he answered questions about his process, poetry and writing in general.
“I got to talk with some really brilliant students who asked some really brilliant questions,” Hart said. “And I was truly astonished by the level of conversation and by the kindness people showed me.”
When writing his latest book, Hart said he became fascinated with a quotation from Andre Breton. The quote, which is also the epigraph to his book, is “A poem must be a debacle of the intellect.”
Hart started writing poems when he was a sophomore in college. He took a poetry workshop to help write song lyrics, but it turned into something much more.
When it comes to reading in front of a crowd, Hart doesn’t memorize his poems or practice to prepare.
“Part of it, I think, has to do with the fact that I played in bands for so many years,” Hart said. “I’d practice and practice and practice, and then you get to a point where everything is exactly the same. And I always want the poems on the page to be a surprise.”
Subplots: Friends of Creative Writers
The event was sponsored by Subplots: Friends of Creative Writers. Subplots is an organization on campus devoted to supporting the creative writing program and encouraging students of all majors to write.
Students do not have to be in the English program to join Subplots.
For more information, visit their Facebook page here.
Purchase Hart’s Work
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