2016 Titles

John Matthias - Complayntes for Doctor Neuro


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John Matthias - Complayntes for Doctor Neuro

Published 2016. Paperback, 106pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
[Download a PDF sampler from this book here.]
Shortlisted for the 2017 Ohioana Book Award.
Complayntes for Dr. Neuro is John Matthias’s first volume of poetry since Shearsman’s publication of his three volumes of collected poems in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  In the interim he has published the novel, Different Kinds of Music, and a book of performance pieces, Six Short Plays. The present book, ending with the title sequence about being forced to confront some of the very neurological problems in fact which have in many earlier poems been something of a theoretical pre-occupation, also represents the more experimental side of his work that has tended to preoccupy the critics who have written on him over the past three decades, along with translation-based work (Virgil, the Chinese Shijing, Rimbaud), a run of austere shorter poems, many of an elegiac cast, and some graffiti-like riffs. Matthias has always written in several styles, and those are once again on display in this volume. The notes include an important gloss on the title poem, 'A Poetics of Parkinson’s.'
John Matthias’s work has acquired more and more attention since the early enthusiasm for it shared by poets and critics like Robert Duncan, Guy Davenport, John Berryman, Jeremy Hooker, Marjorie Perloff, and Michael Anania. John Kinsella has said that “Matthias is one of the great originals,” and Ian Pople in Manchester Review has called him “a kind of mid-Atlantic treasure.”  The TLS has admired “the virtuosity of his work” and “the way life presses into his poems.” Now 75, he shows no signs of slowing down, and will in fact, along with this book, publish a long volume of critical and autobiographical essays this year called At Large

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