Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thanks to everyone who entered! Books are on their way.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Carlo Matos by Carlo Matos

Carlo Matos

by Carlo Matos

Giveaway ends January 01, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Help Me Get to the Sundress Academy for the Fine Arts This Summer

In a group as small as the Portuguese-American community, it is difficult to advance arts and culture related to heritage. People are scattered throughout the US and efforts often go unnoticed.

For the past three years, Kale Soup for the Soul has been presenting free poetry readings and workshops to writers and students in Luso immigrant communities. From workshops at Rhode Island College (with local high school students from Shea) to readings at the Portuguese consulates inBoston and San Francisco, the 30 featured writers of Kale Soup for the Soul have been sharing stories about family, food, culture and more.

Without your support, the writers featured in the Kale Soup series would not be able to present these events. Please consider making a donation! We are seeking travel funds to Knoxville where we will give a reading and participate in a funded artist residency. No donation is too small! $5, $10. Thanks so very much! Click here for our Gofundme

Monday, November 17, 2014

Reading at the University of Toronto

From the left: Manuela Marujo, me, Emanuel Melo, Irene Marques, Inês Cardoso, and João Pedro Vicente Faustino

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reading in Canada

Poster for my readings/roundtables at the University of Toronto and York University in November.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My New Book Is Now Available

It's finally here.

My flash-novella, THE SECRET CORRESPONDENCE OF LOON & FIASCO is now available from Mayapple Press.


Order here at Mayapple Press

Order here at Amazon 

"Carlo Matos takes a mystical sense of Azorean displacement and spins a delightful cat’s-cradle spanning from Fall River to California and featuring the burrito-seeking Johnny and Linda, a teacher in the dying Central Valley. “Fiasco” speaks in binary code to a Loon trying to map out the natural world, only to discover that “When you have no sense of direction…walls are essential to survival.” Lizzie Borden is a patron saint, turkey vultures circle, and Groundhog Day is an anthem as Matos’s poetry offers a fresh view of the Portuguese-American experience." — Katherine Vaz, author of Saudade

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Interview With Millicent Accardi

Check out my new interview over at Poets' Quarterly.

Roosters. Jellyfish. Fighting. 80s movies
--Poet Carlo Matos Discusses New Work

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Three Triptychs over at Glint

Check out three of my poems over at Glint. [Big news about It's Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments series coming soon!]

"Marriage is Winnie Cooper’s numbers filling you with the same longing you had for her when she kissed Kevin on that rock in the pilot of The Wonder Years—his green and white jacket across her shoulders."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lissa Kiernan's Two Faint Lines in the Violet

I review Lissa Kiernan's book of poems over at Cleaver Magazine.

Lissa Kiernan’s debut collection radiates, burns, and fluoresces like uranium glass, like a “bed of plutonium nightlights.”

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Blog Tour 2014

I want to thank Susan Yount for tagging me in for this round of blog touring. Check out her responses at her blog. And while you’re blog hopping, take a peek at poet and publisher Juliet Cook’s blog.

What I am Working On

At the moment I am working on two manuscripts. My first book of fiction (a hybrid, flash-novella titled The Secret Correspondence of Loon & Fiasco) is going to be released in October by Mayapple Press. In it you’ll find encrypted codes, AI, folk magic, and ruminations on the nature of sex chat, among many other things. It centers on Johnny Sundays who flees California’s Central Valley when he realizes he’s become stuck in time like a sad, urban kwisatz haderach. He makes his way to Chicago where time thankfully starts to clack forward again, only to fall impossibly in love with a chatbot named ALICE. “Meet me on a heathered mountain,” she says one night—and she has him. Meanwhile his estranged wife finds herself suddenly drawn to the island of São Miguel and to the ghost of a girl her powerful sorceress grandmother cursed in her youth. Unsure what awaits her in the Atlantic, she draws towards the unspoken something which cleaves them apart even as they grip towards one another. I hope you will purchase a copy when it finally comes out. Updates to come!

I am also currently shopping around a manuscript titled, It’s Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments, a series of poems obsessed with the idea of, as you might have guessed from the title, experiments. I am really excited about this one because it is the first collection of lyric poems I have done since my first book in 2009. Since A School for Fishermen, I have been working exclusively with prose poetry and flash fiction. Although Loon & Fiasco seems to be the logical conclusion of that line of reasoning, it actually had a different origin. Loon & Fiasco was originally a more “conventional” novel that simply and flatly refused to fit into that mold. When I was planning Experiment, I knew two things: I didn’t want to write anymore prose poems, and I wanted to come at the idea of the experiment from as many angles as I could think of. There are poems about famous scientists like Maria Mitchell, Lise Meitner, Mary Anning, Rosalind Franklin, and many others, but there are also poems about bridge builders, battle bots champions, bounty hunters, homunculi, and werewolves.

Why My Work Is Different

This is actually a hard question to answer because I don’t ever find myself comparing the differences between my work and the work of people I admire. I am not, however, going to discuss how my work is like the work of people I admire either because that could only be embarrassing and revealing in a way that probably wouldn’t be very flattering. I can say that what I’ve been into for the last five or six years is the poetic possibilities of prose. There is nothing novel there, of course, but it has been a continuous project for me. I have recently started publishing flash nonfiction essays as well. I have only begun to explore that side of things and I find it very exciting. Compression is so powerful. To be honest, though, I can sense that after this work with the flash nonfiction essays, I may go in the total opposite direction and see what a larger canvas may have to offer. I still want to write a novel, I must admit, but at the moment I have exhausted all my characters. They are not interested in playing with me right now.

What I Write About 

Roosters. Jellyfish. Fighting. 80s movies. Class. Science. Portuguese-American stuff. Work. Whimsy. For some reason I don't write much about sex, which I can find no real reason for. The steamiest relationship in my work occurs between a man and a chatbot--and it is nothing like the movie, Her. ALICE is only a text box on a screen.

My Process

Lately I've come to realize that I have a really terrible memory. When I look back through my notebooks--and they go back to 1995--I find myself "discovering" the same ideas over and over again. You would think that would be a disadvantage (and I am sure it is in my real life) but actually it serves me quite well in my writing because I experience the ideas with the same kind of enthusiasm every time they make their way back to the surface, but I don't construct the ideas quite the same way, however. In essence, they are getting developed over long periods of time--I like to imagine it as deep time--until they finally find their way into some piece of writing. 

That's enough about me. Now I would like to pass the baton to Michael Colson.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sarah Carson's Poems in Which You Die

I review Sarah Carson's Poems in Which You Die at Arsenic Lobster.

"As gruesome an image as this is, the important part is that their bodies will be mixed together, splattered on a wall—no one being able to tell where one ends and the other begins, which is yet another grimly funny take on a common sentiment in love songs. This is the poet’s gift—to take these very common sentiments and recharge them with her dark humor and vivid, movie-thriller type situations."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Simone Muench's Wolf Centos

I Review Simone Muench's Wolf Centos at PANK

"A true believer in the art of the cento, Muench demonstrates that it can go far beyond the limits of pastiche and homage. The cento is the perfect type of poem for this collection, where anxiety of form is a necessary component of the poetics. The cento is always aware of the other face “under,” “in” or “behind,” as it were, and that is the very essence of this collection."

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Poems Over at PANK

Check out three poems from my "It's Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments" series over at PANK.

"but to be a crash of a structure,
like being known for a lucky hunch,
was like being raked across the face
by an infant
you loved and misread"

Monday, June 30, 2014

Review of Kathleen Rooney's Robinson Alone

Check out my review of Robinson Alone at Iowa Review

"Robinson is finally only himself. Rooney’s Robinson, on the other hand, is an irreducible image, existing in poems that circle back on themselves, in letters he wrote but did not write (the fifteen centos based on Kees’s actual letters Rooney includes in the text), and in homage after homage to the man he is and is not, which Rooney herself admits is a strange aftereffect of those who come to the mystery of Weldon Kees—they can’t help writing about him—and now I, too, am caught in the cycle myself to add to poor Robinson’s misery."

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Great Grant News!!!

I am happy to announce that I am the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review of House on Fire

Review of Susan Yount's new book at Cleaver Magazine.


House on Fire is rugged, self-aware, and raw; it champions those who take blows from all sides and come out swinging wild even when they have little hope of escape—maybe especially when they have little hope of escape. It’s great success is that it holds some portion of anger in reserve—avoiding the too-easy notion of mere acceptance—while still managing to find a way to move forward and make a life worth fighting for.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Micro-review of O, Democracy!

Kathleen Rooney’s novel, O, Democracy! tells the story of an idealist, a twenty-something working in the Chicago office of the Senior Senator of Illinois—an experience Rooney had first explored in her collection of essays, For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs. Her protagonist may be an idealist but O, Democracy! is not really about idealism—at least not of the naïve or overly simple kind. The more knowledgeable, self-aware and dedicated her protagonist is the more tragic the story—but also the sweeter. This is clearly a love song to American democracy as it really is and as it could be but never quite is. The strength of the book resides in its lack of too-easy cynicism and also its avoidance of dogmatic ideological posturing. Its charm, however, belongs solely to Colleen Dugan—a self-defined do-gooder who is always coming up against the limits of her own vanity and the rampant sexism that both bolsters and knocks that vanity down. This character—like Rooney’s protagonist from her novel-in-poems Robinson Alone—sees great value in the effort of self-construction. It’s clearly one of the aspects that draws her to a life in politics, but it is also a constant source of conflict. Colleen likes her pretty dresses but so does the Chief of Staff, her antagonist and foil. He says that she was “an uppity bitch—quite the mouth. But I thought I loved her . . . for that.” Over the course of the book, Colleen worries over the nature of responsibility on a tiny scale and on a grand one, which becomes painfully acute when a certain illicit video comes into her possession. Colleen wishes to wield power, to have a real seat at the proverbial table of political power, but when she could easily destroy her boss’s opponent, she hesitates—the flash drive containing the evidence burning a hole in her purse: “I went from totally marginalized to I-get-to-decide-the-election in like fifteen minutes. In the background, slowly growing in importance, is the bid of the Junior Senator of Illinois for president—complicating and paralleling Colleen’s professional, ethical and personal dilemmas in surprising ways. Rooney’s book is a page-turner, a political thriller lacking nearly all of the clichés of the genre and instead giving the reader a complex look at the nature of active citizenship.
--Carlo Matos

Friday, June 6, 2014

Vamberto Freitas on RTP

Vamberto Freitas discusses his new book BorderCrossings 2 on Portuguese television station, RTP

Vamberto Freitas apresenta livro novo em Ponta Delgada (Vídeo)

At 7 minutes, I am mentioned--along with Stephen Rebello and Kale Soup for the Soul.

Upcoming Readings 2014

Poems While You Wait
Chicago SummerFest
Lincoln Park (Clark and Armitage)
June 29, 2014

Entre Margens e Memórias: Representações da Diáspora
University of Toronto, York University and Instituto Camões
November 12-13

Kale Soup for the Soul
Carr Reading Series
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
4:30 pm 
Featured readers include: Amy Sayre Baptista, Carlo Matos, Millicent Borges Accardi, PaulA Neves

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kelly Boyker's "Zoonosis"

Check out my review of Kelly Boyker's Zoonosis at Cleaver Magazine.


"Like a house pet, this wolf has been partially domesticated, but, tellingly, it is the speaker of this poem—not the wolf—who seems defeated. The poem ends with Little Red—even though her fingers have all been bitten off—asking the diminished wolf to reconsider 'the elegance of his need,' the need being his desire to 'pull your entire body through my teeth.'”

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Review at Arsenic Lobster

Check out my review of citizen j.

"A peculiar lexical characteristic of the book is the utter lack of capital letters and the use of text lingo and abbreviations, which may be a clever, tongue-in-cheek comment on the recent controversies regarding the NSA reading the emails of American citizens. Maybe this is what a sacred text would look like in a world of, to use her own words, “post/fake/neo” Soviet and American kitsch, in an age of text messages and government spying—surveillance being a major undercurrent of the text as well."

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review of Gatza's Apollo at Cleaver Magazine

Check out Cleaver Magazine where I review Geoffrey Gatza's Apollo.


"In Apollo . . . poetry is seen through the lens of dance, dance is understood as painting, painting becomes music, music is myth, myth is chess, chess = ballet, and ballet, war—and on and on. It’s not necessarily baroque in the way we often think of in poetry, which usually has something to do with style, a certain self-awareness of poetry as poetry."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review of Some Kind of Shelter

I review Sara Tracey's debut collection, Some Kind of Shelter over at Split Lip Magazine.

Ultimately Some Kind of Shelter begins with a map—“Give me a map . . . [and] follow me across this / cartographer’s sketch” (“This Paper Landscape”)—and ends with a map—“you study / my palm to find the way home” (“Chickfire”). These poems about work, love and Ohio are always searching for the path back, for the map inscribed in the palm of a hand.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Online Poetry Workshop

This August I will be offering a workshop on occasional poetry called Writing the Moment at Rooster Moans Poetry Coop. I would love to see you there.

Have you ever thought, “This is one of the most important moments in my life” and lamented that you could find no way to leave a record of it or to share the feeling with those you were experiencing the moment with? Have you ever wished you could write an engaging poem to celebrate an important life event or occasion: the end of summer, a sudden break-up, a graduation, a death? 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Nonfiction at Another Chicago Magazine

Read my new piece about MMA in ACM #52

For those of you going to AWP, pick up a copy at their table!

Excerpt from "A Body Suddenly"

"One day, when the fighting is done, all that will be left are the hands, the feet, the bones in negative relief in a box by the boiler"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review of X Marks the Dress

New Review of Kristina Marie Darling and Carol Guess's X Marks the Dress: A Registry at PANK.

For example, in one of my favorite poems, “Unworn Garter,” Darling and Guess present us with a bride who would like to be different, so she wears blue rather than white, carries dead leaves instead of flowers and serves beets instead of cake, but ultimately she pays for her originality: “She decided on a tattoo that looked exactly like a satin garter. When the time came he knelt and she lifted. He scraped at her thigh while she gritted her teeth.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Review at Galatea Resurrects

Review of Big Bad Asterisk* by Eileen Tabios


"Aptly entitled BIG BAD ASTERISK* [it] offers poems in the form of prose paragraphs . . . with asterisked footnotes. Many display the deadpan wit that charmed me from the sample in ARSENIC LOBSTER"

Friday, January 10, 2014

Upcoming Readings

January 17:

February 15:

March 1:

--AWP Seattle Panel
  "Beyond Pessoa: the New Landscape of Portuguese-American Literature"

--Kale Soup for the Soul Reading
  Green Lake Branch Seattle Public Library