Selected by Patricia Smith as winner of the 18th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Matt Morton’s debut poetry collection Improvisation Without Accompaniment reaches for meaning in the transience of life. These lyric poems follow the rhythms of life for a young man coming of age in a small Texas town. As the speaker wrestles with ruptures within the nuclear family and the gradual loss of his religious beliefs, he journeys toward a deeper self-awareness and discovers a fuller palette of life’s pains and pleasures. Poignant, searching, and earnestly philosophical, Improvisation Without Accompaniment embraces uncertainty with a spirit of joyous playfulness.
“These are poems of immense intelligence and presence as nimble as flames conveying the nearly unbearable intimacy this life demands, threatens and rewards us with.” —Dean Young, author of Solar Perplexus
Matt Morton’s 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.