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Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful

-Winner of Levis Prize (Four Way Books)

"Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful, humming with antic energy, takes on issues of sex, politics, race, religion, and poetry, all subjects our mothers warned us not to bring up at a dinner party. At times dreamily or nightmarishly surreal, at others so realistic we laugh or cringe in recognition. It's outrageously American, crass, funny, fast talking, unbound, and yes, sadly beautiful." - Dorianne Laux  

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I love this book. These are the most natural poems I’ve ever read. How they flow. How they touch the heads of thoughts so lightly and lovingly and move on. I say this is as someone who runs from even the rumor of a party: If these poems were people, I would so crash their jamboree. “A Little Gut Magic” invents a genre: imaginative decency. Is that a genre or a style? Is this a book or an embrace? In these spikey days of distance and exclusion, Matthew Lippman is trying hard to find room for everyone, and almost succeeds.

--Bob Hicok, author of forthcoming collection, HOLD.


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Matthew Lippman’s latest collection of poems, Salami Jew, is an extended rumination on one man’s relationship with Judaism.  In these poems Lippman grapples with and explores the power of being a Jew under the umbrella of observance/non-observance.  The tension between the secular and the religious is the driving force behind these introspective, witty, and fiery poems.  Salami Jew pulls no punches and does it with sensitivity, honesty, and aplomb.  These poems illustrate a man struggling with his identity as a Jew, with his place in the world as a Jew, and with what it means, on a daily basis, to feel the spirit move him in this highly complex world. 


Winner of The Burnside Review Book Prize

Burnside Review of Books


Reading a Matthew Lippman poem is like encountering an unstoppable force—or forces. One moment you’re walking down Broadway next to an old friend who’s talking a mile a minute—he’s on a tear, he’s manic but eminently likable, and his monologue is heating up to the point of combustion....These poems were written by a man who takes much pleasure in moving through this mysterious world in language and in a body. He wants to share this pleasure with us—and that is generous, and as good a reason for writing poems as any I can think of.


Geoffrey Nutter, Poet, author of The Rose Of January



Typecast Publishing

"When you read Lippman, you will read so deep and so fast and so alive, you won’t notice the Picasso-work, the deconstructions on race, time, culture and being. You won’t have time for that because you will be drinking at his magic fountain, that luminous wave hitting you in the face lighting your way through the abyss. I love his work, his thousand arms that embrace all of us. A major poet. No bones about it."

—Juan Felipe Herrera, winner of the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems


Winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize

Finalist for the 2008 Patterson Poetry Prize

Sarabande Books

"Different poets possess different powers. So Lippman has eros and humor; somehow, also, he has a great, unfalsifiable affection for human nature. But his work is also empowered by verbal gusto, a faith in the joy of saying. . . . Full of exuberance and invention, flush with the stuff of struggle in the world, bright colored with mood, The New Year of Yellow is a defense of human nature." 

—From the Foreword by Tony Hoagland

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