|If Mr Dickman, American poet, had not already existed, Eyewear would have wanted to invent him|
Matthew Dickman is hardly news to American poetry readers - a twin with books from some of the best places for a US-based poet - he has been the subject of a New Yorker profile, and winner of some important prizes. His long-stanza, vernacular, witty poems are not, then, a strange sighting across the pond. However, British poetry readers might be forgiven for raising a collective eyebrow at the Dickmanmania that has set him down on these shores, suddenly, and figuratively, as a leading American poet we need to acquaint ourselves with quickly - like diplomats scrambling to recall the names of a new Russian foreign minister.
For, Mr Dickman - with his obtrusive name and bespectacled youthful visage - has his name and/or face on the covers of the two most important and widely-read UK poetry journals, and they arrive (suitably for a twin) at precisely the same time - this week, more or less - so there he is on the cover of Poetry London, and again, name-checked on the cover of Poetry Review. Dickman suddenly joins the ranks of other American poets under a certain age - like David Shook, Timothy Donnelly, and Stephen Burt - who are making waves on both sides of the Atlantic - a situation we have not last seen since arguably Plath and Lowell in the 60s.