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Simulacra

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  100 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize

A fresh and rebellious poetic voice, Airea D. Matthews debuts in the acclaimed series that showcases the work of exciting and innovative young American poets. Matthews’s superb collection explores the topic of want and desire with power, insight, and intense emotion. Her poems cross historical boundaries and speak empha
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Hardcover, 104 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by Yale University Press
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Douglas
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2017
Watch out for this one. Airea D. Matthews is going to be one to reckon with. I’ve been trying over many years to read all of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. This is the most powerful debut I’ve read yet. Science, spirituality, and Anne Sexton text messages from beyond.
Adam Stone
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took February off from reading poetry. I still heard it every Wednesday for a few hours, but I didn't sit down and read it.

Partly, it's style fatigue. Every manuscript I've seen has been a poet who learned A Trick to write a poem. Usually, a good one. But all of their poems were laid out the same way, or were written on the same theme, or they're all erasures, or they're all crowns of sonnets.

Airea D. Matthews's book is not like any of the books or manuscripts I've read recently.

Thank Yale.

Th
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W. Everett
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Airea Dee Matthews's debut is one of the most indubitably groundbreaking and hard-hitting poetry collections of the 21st century. In a deeply gothic form of feminism, Matthews explores various aspects of domestic depression in ingenious and fresh ways exclusive to 21st century lifestyle, such as phone texts or musical play scripts. Matthews interacts with her odd inhibitions through personas of her dead inspirations, including Gertrude Stein and Anne Sexton. Matthews's intuitive wit, darkly sati ...more
Lisa Rector
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Favorite poems - Letters to My Would-be Lover on Geometry and Ponds, On Meeting Want for the First Time, Dodecaphony, Descent of the Composer, Sekhmet After Hours, Privileged Ghosts of Paris, and Psyche on Prozac.
Danielle Barnhart
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having just finished reading a moment ago, I am spellbound. I cannot decide whether to immediately start reading it again, or write until the ink runs out..
John Madera
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Virtuosic in form and language, Airea D. Matthews’s Simulacra reimagines numerous forms of communication, in lineated and prose poems haunted by ghosts and gods, both Egyptian and Greek, and the fragile imagined pasts we regard as memory and history, Matthews playfully and dynamically offering redacted epistles and beyond-the-grave sexting, dismantlings of so-called holy scripture, and various engagements with texts from a panoply of writers, including Jean Baudrillard, Anne Sexton, Gertrude Ste ...more
Lisa
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book assuredly is a fresh take on poetry respecting tradition and innovation simultaneously. Surprisingly, it aroused raw emotions which were both unnervingly and sweetly satisfying. I feel like I traveled through time, space, and participated in a bit of bold voyeurism.
Josette
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorites were the ones in imagined text messages with Anne Sexton. Beautiful, bold, and heartbreaking work.
D'Anne
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
To the work!
Michael Bazzett
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Playful, incisive, and energizing. A lively mind and an open heart are at work here. One of my favorite books of 2017.
Hannah
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting takes on form. The content itself needs a lot of unpacking, so it needs more than one read through, I think.
Leonard
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book the highest rating on the basis of just a few of the poems in it especially one about Anne Sexton. The rest of the work I found mostly bland and uninteresting.
Mason Neil
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
After just one read the poetry of Airea Matthews has already pushed something within me more than most poetry can on initial introduction. I'm looking forward to reading deeper into it.
Sanjay Varma
Apr 02, 2018 added it
Shelves: poetry
I’m not giving this book a star rating, because I do not want to impact its overall Goodreads score.

All of Matthews’ poems have beautiful turns of phrase. About two-thirds have a rhythm, a beautiful rhythm, which is not reflected in the line breaks or formatting. But the author often tacks on extra words which disrupt the rhythm. It seemed to me as if she is aware of her phrasings but not aware of her language’s rhythm, and so, as an editor, she sacrifices the rhythm in order to keep her phrase
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“Imagine three days of God
gone missing. Now,
imagine my lifetime of it.

Better to build
your own sepulcher
inside an idling Charger -
gorged and crimson.

I’d rather roll up on God’s
pearly in a blood-red
Benz or BMW.

Any fancy casket will do.”
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