"Expert and instinctive, like a cool Ed Wilkerson sax solo bouncing with lived rhythms. Morton's consummate poems will echo long after they are read." --Booklist
Selected by Patricia Smith as winner of the 2018 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Matt Morton's debut poetry collection Improvisation Without Accompaniment embraces uncertainty with a spirit of joyous playfulness.
These lyric poems follow the rhythms of life for a young man growing up in a small Texas town. As the speaker wrestles with ruptures within the nuclear family and the loss of his religious beliefs, he journeys toward a deeper self-awareness and discovers a fuller palette of experiences. Over the course of this collection, the changing seasons of small-town Texas life give way to surprise encounters in distant cities. The speaker's awareness of mortality grows even as he improvises an affirming response to life's toughest questions.
Poignant, searching, and earnestly philosophical, Improvisation Without Accompaniment reaches for meaning within life's joys and griefs.
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About the Author
Matt Morton holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His poetry appears in AGNI, Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, Tin House Online, and elsewhere. His work has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. He serves as associate editor for 32 Poems and is a Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of North Texas. He lives in Dallas, TX.