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Peregrine Nation (Dogfish Head Poetry Prize Winner 2014)


2014 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize winner!  Poetry by Lucian Mattison

In semi-documentary dramatic scenes, Lucian Mattison tells stories about a specific locale, a Peregrine Nation that I can think my way into, or sink into--an outlier’s view of Argentina. His scenes remain in the mind because each line of poetry, as Ezra Pound recommended, is written “at least as well as prose.” Mattison’s poetry masquerading as prose is generally straightforward but delivers sudden fillips that transpose the reader to another level. He is a scrupulous poet who will engage readers with his bright, spontaneous, clear, never-strained, uncluttered , new voice.

— Larry Woiwode, Poet Laureate of North Dakota (Author of Even Tide , and Beyond the Bedroom Wall )

Lucian Mattison, who has lived in Brazil and Chile, takes on the role of “a New World vulture” observing the turbulent life around him. Knives, guns, riot police, and even earthquakes are common in the Santiago of his debut collection, but there is a sweetness and sensuality to be found there as well. If  “English is a way out/ tongue in which we celebrate what we leave,” Mattison’s poems give us a way in to the “culture of silence” he so skillfully describes and disturbs. Not since the publication of Carolyn Forché’s The Country Between Us more than 30 years ago has a young poet written so compellingly about events that most Americans would prefer to ignore.

— Sue Ellen Thompson, Winner of the 2010 Maryland Author Award, Editor of  The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry

Have you seen the other Dogfish Head Poetry Prize-winning books?

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