Nebraska Center for Writers

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About Matt Mason


The Baby That Ate Cincinnati
Copyright © 2013
by Matt Mason
Stephen F. Austin University Press
The Baby That Ate Cincinnati is a collection of poems about parenthood. And horror movies. Itís about that other side of things, the bit with the wonder and the magic as well as the terror of trying to redefine yourself and your place in the universe with what is really a very strange and monumental change in who you are, what you do, and what you truly fear. Ultimately, you know, itís life affirming, just like all classic scary movies, by the time the credits roll. — from the publisher.

Desire for More Cows
Copyright © 1998
by Matt Mason

Matt Mason, author of Old Froggo's Book of Practical Cows, has released another collection of poetry. Titled Desire For More Cows, the slim volume moves beyond the simply bovine with ruminations on topics such as "Spiced Pork Rinds" and "Yahweh and the Belgian Waffle." The collection's centerpiece is undoubtedly "Cows Who Run With The Deer," an ode about Emily, a cow that leapt a 5-foot fence to escape the slaughterhouse. Mason's poem wonders about the cow's adventures in the wild. — John Keenan, Omaha World-Herald

Old Froggo's Book of
Practical Cows
Copyright © 1997
by Matt Mason

Old Froggo's Book of Practical Cows, a cow-and-Omaha themed poetry collection by Matt Mason of Bellevue, available at the Village Bookstore at 87th and Pacific Streets. The 39-page booklet, self-published by Mason, is a hoot. It contains poems with titles such as "Nonviolent Resistance and a Cow," "When Cows Ruled the Earth," and "Ode to Omaha." — John Keenan, Omaha World-Herald,

While many of the poems in Old Froggo's and Desire are serious on he surface, Mason's tongue is at times firmly planted in his cheek. — Bruce R Nelson, Grassroots

When the Bough Breaks
Copyright © 2005
by Matt Mason
Lone Willow Press

Matt Mason's beautifully direct language ("Let me start by saying that my dad died of AIDS ...") is both disarming and comforting. In When the Bough Breaks, the surface of Mason's narratives is skillfully interrupted by bereavement and memory. Mason is a poet readers trust. He pulls us in with poems that are precise, moving, disturbing, and consoling. — Denise Duhamel

Powerful, self-searching poems. — William Kloetkorn

I confess I'm a Matt Mason fan. That doesn't make me special — his poems have made fans out of a lot of folks. They have a way of silencing the distracting chatter of the 21st century with clarity, intelligence and generosity of spirit. Mason genuinely likes and trusts his readers. He wants us along for the ride — even when, or maybe especially when, the trip is rough on the tender heart. What is special is When the Bough Breaks, a whole that's greater than the sum of its terrific parts. How could I not be a fan? Matt Mason is one of a handful of writers in any genre who's made me laugh till I cried and then, a heartbeat or two later, moved me to weep, not for the losses we inevitably suffer, but at the courage we necessarily muster to travel beyond our grief. — JV Brummels

Matt Mason's poems will break your heart! ... His poems, of course, are elegies. But they are fresh and original in sensibility. — Tom Snyder, author of Two Dogs and a Cigar

Things We Don't Know We Don't Know
Copyright © 2005
by Matt Mason
Backwaters Press
How to Buy

Things We Don't Know We Don't Know debuted at #12 on the Poetry Foundation best seller list for contemporary poetry books (May 28th, 2006). Why? Because it's a great read: more entertaining than you'd think a book of poetry should be and more poetic than you'd think an entertaining book can be. — from the publisher

Rebel With a Cause — Matt Mason is a revolutionary. And not just when he's writing about vigorous political outrage (the title of his new collection is from a Donald Rumsfeld quote). Even Mason's poems filled with gentle insight, kindness, humor and grace are small, feisty acts of rebellion — crystallizing a new way of thinking, feeling, behaving. — Michael Burke

The only thing better than reading these poems is to hear Matt Mason himself read them. — Marjorie Saiser, author of Bones of a Very Fine Hand

Matt Mason must be declared the poet laureate of the Midwest! No other native son celebrates the overlooked America, its unsung citizens (from the anonymous poets to the part-time English teachers), and its expansive indigenous landscape, as well as he does. Mason's poetry is humorous when he wants to be quirky, heartbreaking when he wants to be eloquent, and though he moves effortlessly into other moods and geographies, he always returns to his first and most enduring love (and to what he knows best) — his homeland. — Rigoberto Gonzalez, author of So Often The Pitcher Goes to Water Before It Breaks

Although Mason takes his title from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's nonclarification of US policy regarding "the war on terror," this exuberant poet helps us to see clearly a cornucopia of things we too often forget we know. Whether turning his attention to kiwifruit, Wild Kingdom's Marlin Perkins, the Strategic Air Command Museum, or lovers who with luck may come to resemble a no-expiration-date snack cake, Mason sheds some of his Nebraskan light on our universally human proceedings. And anyone who can actually say, for the poem-record, "I believe that aliens built the Pyramids, Stonehenge, / and most of my ex-girlfriends" surely knows, by heart, a few more things we only think we may be better off not knowing. — David Clewell, author of Now We're Getting Somewhere and The Low End of Higher Things

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