The poems in Adrian Matejka's newest and fifth collection, Somebody Else Sold the World, meditate on the ways we exist in an uncontrollable world: in love and its aftermaths, in families that divide themselves, in protest-filled streets, in isolation as routines become obsolete because of lockdown orders and curfews. Somebody Else uses past and future touchstones like pop songs, love notes, and imaginary gossip to illuminate those moments of splendor that persist even in exhaustion. These poems show that there are many possibilities of brightness and hope, even in the middle of pandemics and revolutions.
"No poem exists in a vacuum, just like no person does. This collection uses elements like love notes, gossip, even pop music to illuminate the ways we remain connected, even amidst revolution and isolation." --Good Housekeeping
"With blazing virtuosity, Matejka returns in prime form for a wildly syncopated romp--ballasted with earth and music and bombast--serving all the right notes. These poems slyly sit at the intersection of revelation and delicious formal audacity, 'magnificent & stark inside the addendum, like a big breath exhaled through the best part of a question mark.'" --Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders
"Adrian Matejka's muscular and mellifluous soundtrack is a savvy directive that reminds us that even chaos has a rhythm you can dance to. With a masterful ear for lyric and eye for the detail that jolts and surprises, the poet adroitly reintroduces us to a world where a simple breath was never too much--here are reminders of love's fractured mechanics, the heart-rending frailty of fathers, that twinge in the belly at the first downbeat of that song. Matejka even manages to dismantle that wee icon of violence--the bullet--until it is bared of its sin, its ability to end every story it enters. In Somebody Else Sold the World, we revisit the life we were living before the life we're scarcely living now." --Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art
About our Speakers
Adrian Matejka's most recent collection of poetry is Map to the Stars. His other books are The Big Smoke, which was the winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a finalist for both the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; Mixology, which was selected for the National Poetry Series; and The Devil's Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), winner of the New York / New England Award. Among Matejka's other honors are fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He served as Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana in 2018-19 and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four collections of poems, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and creative writing in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.
Paul Tran is the author of the debut poetry collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, forthcoming from Penguin Poets in February 2022. Their work appears in The New Yorker, The Nation, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere, including the Lionsgate movie Love Beats Rhymes. A recipient of the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Paul is currently a Visiting Faculty in Poetry at Pacific University MFA in Writing and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.
All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.