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Friday, 27 September 2013

THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF MATTHEW DICKMAN ON THE UK LANDSCAPE

 
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. 
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