Sunday, January 27, 2013

My First Book

A School for Fishermen

My first book in case you missed it.

Here's an excellent review by Jay Peters over at Portuguese American Journal.

An Excerpt:
"Fishing nets, dark matter, Fernando Pessoa: Matos deftly weaves all of these strands into a Portuguese-American story about the Dos Santoses, a family that emigrated from the Azores and is now caught in the tangled web of folk wisdom and scientific rationality that is commonly referred to as the struggle of American assimilation."

And if you read Portuguese, here's a great review by literary critic, Vamberto Freitas.

An Excerpt:
"Cada verso de Carlo Matos surpreende-nos com o inesperado, dizendo simplesmente e sem aviso o contrário do que esperávamos, como quem já lê pensando que nada mais de novo nos espera. Isso é a literatura no seu melhor: o espelho que tudo distorce sem nunca “mentir” sobre a essência do que nele se reflecte. Cada um aqui – como nós todos, mesmo que inconscientemente – está demasiadamente repartido para se perceber inteiro."

Upcoming Readings

Chicago Poetry Bordello

A historic night of mischief and disguise awaits you.

Join the Chicago Poetry Bordello for Lundi Gras!
Monday, Feb. 11, 2013
8pm to Midnight
Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division, Chicago

$5 if dressed Victorian. $10 if not.
Chopin has a CASH ONLY bar.

Live music by the White City Rippers & Jeff Levin on piano!
Burlesque beauties Baile Nouveau!
Plus hand cut silhouettes by Nina Nightingale!
AND AS ALWAYS, Chicago’s best Poetry Whores!

Kale Soup for the Soul II 
Writers reading work about family, food, Portuguese culture and more!

AWP Offsite Event

6:30pm, Thursday March 7th, 2013

Tony John Roma
Millicent Borges Accardi
Paula Neves
Amy Sayre
Carlo Matos
Linette Escobar
Lara Gularte
Nancy Vieira Couto
Brian Sousa
Luis Gonçalves, Moderator

Kindly hosted by the Portuguese Consulate

Massachusetts Poetry Festival

Salem, Massachusetts
May 3-5, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Recent interviews about my work

by Millicent Borges Accardi

Poets' Quarterly

By Michael Colson

Portuguese American Journal

About the Chicago Poetry Bordello

Chicago Sun-Times

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Poetry Anthology

I am very happy to be included in a new anthology of Portuguese-American poetry from Gavea-Brown Publications at Brown University called, The Gavea-Brown Book of Portuguese American Poetry.

Review of Counting Sheep Till Doomsday

Here's a new review of my second book of poems, Counting Sheep Till Doomsday, at Conium Review.

An Excerpt:

"This genuinely funny book imagines many gulp-laden takes on a planet seeded by Nervous Nellies, fatalists and rioting pachyderms. In such a world, Mr. Potato Head does not turn out to be the best consigliere for confession (an ear might just be delivered to your door); nor can caste systems ever be bucked by normal reindeer over reindeer who fly."
--review by Michele Merens


Review of my Ibsen Book

Check out a new review of my scholarly book, Ibsen's Foreign Contagion, by Petra Dierkes-Thrun, Stanford University, at UpStage.

An excerpt:

"Carlo Matos’s new study does not focus on Ibsen, Pinero, or stage modernism per se, as the title would suggest, but rather on the reception of these authors in the late-Victorian press and specifically the reviewers’ striking use of metaphors of contagion and disease. Following the 1891 London premiere of Ibsen’s scandalous syphilis play Ghosts (discussed in chapter 2), Matos argues, the English reviewers - and later even Pinero and Jones themselves in some of their plays - strategically employed metaphors of disease and contagion to reject Ibsen as a dangerous foreign influence on English culture. While it is a well-known fact that Ibsen received a generally hostile press reception in England (Ibsen’s principal defenders Shaw, Archer, and Gosse found plenty to argue against, after all), Matos’s extended close readings of the English press reviews, and his argument that they can best be accessed through an awareness of the cultural role of actual contagious diseases like cholera and smallpox in the 19th century, are original contributions."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Big Bad Asterisk*

My new book, Big Bad Asterisk*, is available from BlazeVOX [books]:Purchase at Amazon.

Here's a wonderful review from Michael Colson (Porterville College) at the Portuguese American Journal.

Here's an excerpt:
"Something comes knocking in the Big Bad Asterisk, and if it’s not a bag of bones thudding against the closed door of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personas we meet in this prose poem novella, then it’s an asterisk interrupting a stream of thought with announcements of trivia from a TV game show.  Or it is the disturbing tattle of a goat sodomite, whose opinions hardly matter, and could very well be blotted out.  Of course, that’s the point."

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing: What is the working title of your book?

Carlo Matos: The book is called Big Bad Asterisk*. At first it was simply called Big Asterisk because of all the asterisks in the manuscript.  It was a lot of fun weaving the book together with footnotes.  On the one hand, the footnotes serve as connective tissue, coarsely tying piece to piece, but, on the other hand, they also bring the mess of the outside world to bear on the tidy little plot.  And, of course, my female protagonist is a real bad ass, a big bad ass if you will, so the title is also a play on words.

TNBT: Where did the idea come from for your book?

CM: I was thinking a lot about the nature of footnotes because I was reading Kristina Marie Darling’s book, Melancholia: (An Essay).  Our styles are very different, but we both love prose poems and footnotes.  This might be an effect of our scholarly interests, I’m not sure, but it has left an indelible mark on our work.  For me, the footnote is always a chance to break from the sometimes-predictable demands and desires of plot, and I think that is what I like best about them.  

TNBT: What genre does your book fall under?

CM: I’m not sure.  I think it’s a novella first and foremost.  Now whether it’s a novella in prose poems or in flash fiction, I can’t say for sure.  Ultimately it doesn’t really matter.  The point is to enjoy things in both their individual manifestations and as a whole.  That seems to serve the book best.

TNBT: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

CM: “He” would be played by Jared Harris because he can pull off ridiculous and deadly serious at the same time.  “She” would be played by Gina Carano because she is an awesome MMA fighter/kick boxer and a budding actress. 

TNBT: What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

CM: Are you married yet?  If not, come find me.

TNBT: How long did it take for you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

CM: It took about three to four months of feverish writing.  I was looking for a way to push what I had been doing in my previous book, Counting Sheep Till Doomsday (also from BlaxeVOX [books]) and I realized that plot might be the way to do it.  The pressures of plot and character development forced the prose poems to become even prosier and made me worry a lot about connective tissue.  There was a lot of chaos involved in the writing of this book, much more than there had been for my two previous books.

TNBT: What other books would you compare your book to within your genre?

CM: Oddly, the book that comes to mind is Sandra Cisneros’s novella The House on Mango Street. I wasn’t aware of this when I was working on it; it occurred to me only after. Cisneros calls Mango Street a novel but it often reads like a collection of linked short stories, and the little micro chapters look a lot like flash fiction or prose poems. I have been teaching this book in my developmental English classes at Truman College for years, and I think it managed to seep into my mind slowly, one chapter at a time.

TNBT: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

If you like Yeti, MMA, Eddie Vedder, Alex Trebek, Nelly Furtado, Atlantis, giant whale penises, and making out with blowfish, you might want to give Big Bad Asterisk* a read.

Blog Hop: Here’s who Carlo Matos tags and why:

CM: Millicent Borges Accardi because her first book Injuring Eternity was like reading the diary of a sister I never had.  I look forward to her next book, Only More So—forthcoming from Salmon Poetry.  

And Lina Ramona Vitkouskas because she is one of the most interesting language poets writing today, in my opinion.  She has a new book out, A Neon Tryst, from Shearsman Books.