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2019 Dartmouth Poet in Residence Matthew Minicucci

Meet Matthew Minicucci

Matthew Minicucci’s most recent collection Small Gods (New Issues), won the 2019 Stafford/Hall Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His first book, Translation (Kent State University Press), was chosen by Jane Hirshfield for the 2014 Wick Poetry Prize. His poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from numerous journals including the Alaska Quarterly ReviewThe Believer, the Gettysburg Review,Oregon Humanities, The Southern Review, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the 2018 C. Hamilton Bailey Oregon Literary Fellowship, the Stanley P. Young Fellowship in Poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a Writer-in-Residence fellowship from the James Merrill House. He currently lives in Portland, OR. matthewminicucci.com

On Being Named the 2019 Dartmouth Poet in Residence

“As a person who grew up in New England, the name Robert Frost was synonymous with poetry itself, and was imbued with some early glow of what that would mean to me in my life’s work. To be honored with the chance to spend much of the summer at the Frost Place as the Dartmouth Poet in Residence is a humbling thing indeed, and one that (in my younger days) I could not have imagined. I look forward to being back in the natural spaces I always knew as home, and to caretake both my own work and this place so intimately connected to the history of American poetry.”


A Poem By Matthew Minicucci

to flense

This part of you has a name:
integument. I prefer facsimile

of a smile; cut flesh that shows
the baleen’s bend. Whalebone, however thrown

about by open mouths, can mean
so many pieces. Such bleached variety

in the wind, where even the stones go blank, sleep,
struggle along breath that escapes

like steam to cold stream above
the deck. There it hangs, brief, in

wonder; pondering whether to drop, to die
in the sea—or keep silent, endure

on as if haar, or sea fret, or simple
stratus, unhinged, come to earth.


Copyright © 2017 Matthew Minicucci All rights reserved
from Small Gods
New Issues Poetry & Prose
Reprinted from Verse Daily® with permission