"'It takes a lot to say I love you, I mean it / and mean it, ' says the speaker in Matthew Daddona's rich and impactful debut, House of Sound. These poems articulate not just love as an act, but also absence, longing, and philosophies, all as a measure of life and its relevance. To stay or to go? This is the central question that haunts the speaker. And when one goes, is one ever really gone? These poems ring with questions: 'I want their wings. I want their answer.' In sound, memory, and the lack thereof. In life, love-and the lack thereof. This collection is an exciting example of language as meditation, mediation, and conciliation, as well as action. To write, to love, to understand, to contemplate-these are all verbs that require action and attention. Attend to the quiet yearning in these poems. 'Because a shadow / wants to leave you / but doesn't know how, ' attend to the way these beautiful poems move through the body as heartsong, as a form of human touch."-Chelsea Dingman, author of Through a Small Ghost and Thaw Academy of American Poets prize-winning poet Matthew Daddona's debut collection, House of Sound, is a rumination on domesticity and modern-living, a playful and earnest attempt to discover truth within silence and hope within noise. In these twenty-eight poems, Daddona combines narrative and lyricism to recreate a home-and thus, a mode of living-that delivers to us a family searching for contact amid society's cacophony. In "Poem for Leaving," a narrator attempts to put together a former friend's reason for deserting him for a more alluring country, while in "Tourist Trap," a husband reckons with trying to protect his wife from verbal and physical assault while pondering the language of violence and appeasement. As the roles of mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, are often exchanged, borrowed, interplayed, the collection externalizes their choices by showing the narrator take flight from his hometown in the conclusive "Poem for Returning." Celebrating language, and ultimately the liberty of choice, Daddona writes, "To become love, / dress in idiom."House of Sound is a dynamic and dexterous debut from a bold new writer, a commentary upon the joys and defeats of trying to live most beautifully.
Matthew Daddona is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in Outside, Fast Company, UPROXX, Amtrak's The National, Guernica, Tin House, Slice Magazine, The Southampton Review, The Rumpus, Grammy.com, and other outlets. As a former member of Flashpoint/NYC, a New York City writing collaborative, he has performed his poetry and prose in over twenty venues. Matthew is also the recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize for poetry, and his flash fiction piece On Shaft Mining was a runner-up in The Blue Earth Review's 2017 fiction contest. Alongside two other multi-hyphenates, he co-hosts Kill Genre, a quarterly reading series in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. House of Sound is his debut collection of poetry.