Matthew Olzmann

“There’s something inherently spiritual about Olzmann’s Mezzanines. . . . It’s a place of reflection and contemplation, a temporary reprieve from the world’s chaos and a reach for a vision of paradise.”
The Los Angeles Review of Books

April 2013

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Matthew Olzmann is the author of two collections of poems from Alice James Books: Mezzanines, which was selected for the Kundiman Prize, and Contradictions in the Design.  His writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Brevity and elsewhere. He’s been awarded fellowships from the Kresge Arts Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. Currently, he teaches at Dartmouth College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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Additional Praise:

“Reading a book of poems is not unlike entering into a conversation. A good conversation is punctuated by moments of gravity and levity, wherein secrets are confided, wisecracks made, and trust earned. Mezzanines is a good conversation—one you’ll want to revisit and, once there, won’t want to leave.”
Asian American Writers’ Workshop Review

“Quirky, zany, more than a little surreal, Matthew Olzmann’s Mezzanines contains at least one outrageous surprise on almost every page.”
The Santa Barbara Independent

“[Mezzanines is] engaging and surprising throughout.”

“Uniting magical realism with kernels of profound sentiment, the poems in Mezzanines exist in a parallel world, one that is uncanny in its strangeness while still being familiar enough to relate to.”
The Volta Blog

“Olzmann’s ability to look at one thing and see another gives Mezzanines a quality of magical realism. . . . The combination of the beautiful and the ugly, the real and imaginative, the marvelous and the devastating. . . makes it one of the most emotionally Gordian and yet exuberant collections in recent memory. ”
32 Poems

“. . .the poems [in Mezzanines] have doors that open and invite you inside. The rooms of the house may be odd, and the stairwells may lead in strange directions, but you, as the reader, remain beckoned. [Olzmann] hasn’t invited you in just to leave you. He’s got stories to tell, and they’re good.”
The Huffington Post Blog

“[Olzmann] uses his frank yet witty nature to observe the world and offer new perspectives.”
The Midwest Book Review

“With great empathy and imagination, and plentiful dashes of humor and wit, Matthew Olzmann enters spaces we don’t normally dwell in. Inside these spaces the world is in dazzling motion, and when we step back out we, too, are set spinning.”
The American Literary Review

“Olzmann’s masterful debut heralds the arrival of a delightful and daring poetry that scorches and coils its way through galaxies, strip malls, and the intricacies of the human body. With a wickedly delightful wisdom at its core, Mezzanines practices the most graceful kind of alchemy—its greatest strength is how it turns tiny heartbreaks into a bright and satisfying beauty.”
Aimee Nezhukumatathil

“Olzmann has an outsider’s wit and a border crosser’s slick vision. From seam, threshold, and cut, these poems navigate the galactic and the aquatic, the immediate and the imaginary, the reasonable and the American. He’s amused by his own bewilderment. What’s more, he manages to never abandon love. Olzmann’s skilled play, terrific ear, and immense heart make Mezzanines a must-read.”
Patrick Rosal

“With Mezzanines Matthew Olzmann has given us a vibrant new poetry, as soulful as it is funny. Sci-fi and snake charms, love poems, ship wrecks, and a dash of artful self-parody—the materials of his narratives come from all over the cosmos to find, in this wonderful poet’s hands, a shape crackling with power that’s connective, convincing, and true.”
David Baker

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More by Matthew Olzmann:

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— NC