Story of a Poem: A Memoir


Product Details

$28.00  $26.04
Unnamed Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 0.9 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Matthew Zapruder is the author of five collections of poetry, including Come On All You Ghosts, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Father's Day (Copper Canyon, 2019), as well as Why Poetry, a book of prose. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary's College of California.

Zapruder has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship in Marfa, TX. His poetry has been adapted and performed at Carnegie Hall by Composer Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider, and was the libretto for "Vespers for a New Dark Age", a piece by composer Missy Mazzoli commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival. In 2000, he co-founded Verse Press, and is now editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. He was the founding Director of the Bagley Wright Lecture Series. From 2016-17 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine and Guest Editor of Best American Poetry 2022.


"How fortunate, reader, that this book has found you. It found me too, and I spent days captivated by its pages, within which a whole life, and a whole poem, were slowly unfolding before me. Beating on every page is the heart of a father and the heart of a poet. Written with a bright, nimble clarity that lets deep complexities shine, this book is a glimmering candle in darkness." --Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Author of A Ghost in the Throat

"Matthew Zapruder has a razor eye for the remnants and revenants of modern culture." --The New York Times
"Whether you parent a neurodivergent child or have known the privilege and pain of loving an outsider, you'll find commonality and comfort on the pages of this beautiful book. Zapruder illuminates the experience of parenting to a level I can only equate with heroism, arguably for the sheer lack of ego he brings to the page. That he exposes his experience in harrowing detail and still emerges as a father of heart-stopping tenderness is an act of divine love. This book explodes with devotion." --Mary-Louise Parker, Actress and author of Dear Mr. You

"Dare I say it, this book feels fatherly. I trust it. It's brilliant yet plain-spoken, rooted in experience, wholehearted, and wise." --Maggie Smith, The Washington Post

"Reading 'Father's Day' not only made me feel less alone, it also reminded me how great, in times of confusion, frustration, and shared anxiety, is our human need for tenderness, for forthright yet gentle speech, and for unashamed sweetness." --The Washington Post