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Six Short Plays by John Matthias

Price: $16.00

Six Short Plays John Matthias BlazeVOX [books]

 The poetry, essays, and fiction of John Matthias are widely known. Less known are the plays and performance texts that he has been writing and adapting from his longer poems in the course of the last several years. This book contains six of these texts, only one of which has been performed. However, the success of staged versions of “Automystifstical Plaice” suggests that performances of the other texts would be equally exciting. Both by the reader and the hypothetical producer of these plays, this book will be warmly welcomed.

“The ironies [of “Automystifstical Plaice”] are multiple: an avant-gardism exploiting the distinctiveness of specific media and insisting on its antinomian freedom from representation becomes the technological basis for the primary form of electronic mass communication, and serves the militarized state. The sexual association of screen divas with missiles may be old hat, but the starlet as computer geek contriving systems of destruction and exchange might send Dr. Strangelove himself into unstoppable spasm.”

—John Wilkinson


“Well! I asked the girls and learned that this Mr. Matthias was no fly-by-night Johnny, no film flam man on the lam from the clink or the Studebaker plant at South Bend, Indiana, but the real thing, a prime mover and a shaker, too, top drawer, top dollar, the dropped banana, the silk drawers, the smoking jacket, the clinamen, the Paralete, the parakeet and the parachute.”

—Joyelle McSweeney


“Matthias is one of the great originals”

—John Kinsella


“One of the best poets in the USA.”

—Guy Davenport


“John Matthias is a kind of mid-Atlantic treasure.”

—Ian Pople, Manchester Review


“Matthias’s challenging poetry makes clear that what is needed today is a larger, more capacious conception of postmodern poetics, one that avoids the usual classifications so as to redraw the boundaries of the field”

—Marjorie Perloff


John Matthias is the author of some thirty-five books – poetry, fiction, memoir, literary essays, scholarly editions, translations, and drama. He taught literature and creative writing at Notre Dame for forty years, and he is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. His recent publications include three volumes of collected poems: Collected Shorter Poems, vol. 1; Collected Shorter Poems, vol. 2; and Collected Longer Poems, all published by Shearsman Books. Shearsman has also published Trigons, a long poem; Who Was Cousin Alice? And Other Questions, a volume of essays; and Different Kinds of Music, a novel. Matthias has also been active as a translator, working with Göran Printz-Påhlson on the anthology Contemporary Swedish Poetry (Swallow Press) and with Lars-Håkan Svensson on Three-toed Gull: Selected Poems of Jesper Svenbro (Northwestern). His own poetry has been translated into many languages. Editorially, his advocacy of the Anglo-Welsh modernist, David Jones, has been advanced in Introducing David Jones (Faber and Faber) and David Jones: Man and Poet (National Poetry Foundation). Two volumes of essays have been published on Matthias’s work: Word Play Place: Essays on the Poetry of John Matthias, ed. Robert Archambeau (Swallow Press) and The Salt Companion to John Matthias, ed. Joe Francis Doerr (Salt Publishing). For twenty years John Matthias was poetry editor of Notre Dame Review, and he is currently Editor at Large.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 144 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-210-5

$16