It Might Do Well With Strawberries

David Matlin

Publication Date: 2009
236 Pages
ISBN10: 1-934851-02-7
ISBN13: 978-1-934851-02-9
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About the Author, David Matlin

David MatlinDavid Matlin is a novelist, poet, and essayist. His collections of poetry and prose include the books China Beach, Dressed In Protective Fashion, and Fontana's Mirror.  His first novel How the Night is Divided, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1993. His most recent book, Prsions: Inside the New America from Vernooykill Creek to Abu Ghraib, published by North Atlantic Books, is based on a ten-year experience teaching in one of the oldest Prison Education Programs in the nation in New York State. This extended essay is a discussion of the crisis of prisons, the invention of surplus populations, and how, in making prison our largest growth industry, we are mining our own civil disintegrations at unprecedented levels. David Matlin is an associate professor at San Diego State University and teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program.

Reviews and Comments

David Matlin holds a presence of mind uncontaminated by the nullity of this bewildering political era in which torture, deceit, trickery, brutality and war are the status quo that many of us uphold, obsessed as we are with the solace and comfort promised by the dream of America, which has become a nightmare too unbearable for most of us to face. Matlin is unwavering. Instead of collapsing into despondency he confronts the collision of violence and imagination so rampant in this culture gone awry.  Instead of retreating into uncertainty, he writes the fury of the world as it presents itself to him -- a conflicting forcefield of horror and sublimity, chaos and clarity. It is rare to read the workings of a mind so braced against the ominous drift. But Matlin reveals the simultaneity of living and thinking through the complexity of what can be known and what has been realized. He scours the newspapers and maintains the relentless practice of always observing and recording. It’s often easier to look away. But with Matlin as a guide, perhaps we can begin to conceive an image of what Matlin, citing Robert Duncan, calls “Vital Living apart from the threatening conclusions which surround us.” - Kristin Prevallet

What if the art forms have so solidified as to be irrelevant to defy our political present? This question is one that so haunts David Matlin as to make his writing adequate to the monstrosity of our waning democratic years and days. It Might Do Well With Strawberries contains all the components---poetic concision, political outrage, journalistic detail, self-fashioning, and a long historic vision---that make it possible to speak of language as public space: a critical wager of the imagination. - Roberto Tejada


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Sept24The Poets’ Follies Reading Series, sponsored by Marick Press and The Oakland University Writing Center, will feature the poetry of David Young, Todd Swift and Jason Storms at 6:30PM. The reading will be followed by a question and answer session.
Wednesday September 24, 2014
6:30PM, Room 212, Kresge Library at Oakland University
Rochester, MI 48309 
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