I feel like there’s not much I can say about Matthew Rohrer that hasn’t been said already. He is a poet. He is the author of several books. He teaches at NYU. His poems are funny and sad and familiar and strange. There’s a liveliness in their voice and a deep reverence in their construction. They take place outside and inside, in the city and nature, alone and with others, somewhere where the imagination and concrete reality intersect. Despite all of Matt’s experience and worldliness, his poems also have this remarkable ability of never seeming “above the reader,” while at the same time never resorting to familiar tropes. His poems always level with you and remind you what’s good about poetry.
His new book, Destroyer and Preserver, was released this year by Wave. You can read poems from it here, here, and here. We emailed over the past few days to talk about the new book, other people’s books, punctuation, and hurricane Irene gets a shout out too.