Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He earned his BA from Indiana University and an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Matejka is the recipient of fellowships the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. He teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Adrian Matejka$20.00 $18.00
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the National Book Award in Poetry--a collection that examines the myth and history of the prizefighter Jack Johnson The legendary Jack Johnson (1878-1946) was a true American creation. The child of emancipated slaves, he overcame the violent segregationism of Jim Crow, challenging white boxers--and white America--to become the first African-American heavyweight world champion. The Big Smoke, Adrian Matejka's third work of poetry, follows the fighter's journey from poverty to the most coveted title in sports through the multi-layered voices of Johnson and the white women he brazenly loved. Matejka's book is part historic reclamation and part interrogation of Johnson's complicated legacy, one that often misremembers the magnetic man behind the myth.
Adrian Matejka$18.00 $16.56
A resonant new collection of poetry from Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke, a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award Map to the Stars, the fourth poetry collection from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adrian Matejka, navigates the tensions between race, geography, and poverty in America during the Reagan Era. In the time of space shuttles and the Strategic Defense Initiative, outer space is the only place equality seems possible, even as the stars serve to both guide and obscure the earthly complexities of masculinity and migration. In Matejka's poems, hope is the link between the convoluted realities of being poor and the inspiring possibilities of transcendence and escape—whether it comes from Star Trek, the dream of being one of the first black astronauts, or Sun Ra's cosmic jazz.
Selected for the 2008 National Poetry Series by Kevin Young Finalist for the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature -- Poetry The poems in Adrian Matejka's second collection, Mixology, shapeshift through the myriad meanings of "mixing" to explore and explode ideas of race, skin politics, appropriation, and cultural identity. Whether the focus of the individual poems is musical, digital, or historical, the otherness implicit in being of more than one racial background guides Matejka's work to the inevitable conclusion that all things-no matter how disparate-are parts of the whole.