American Chew

By Matthew Lippman

“Matthew Lippman’s poems know how to love as only a heart knows how to love. Swelling with rage, candor, humor, and empathy, his lyrics embrace vulnerability and grit that navigate the mire that the world lays before us each day. Their music makes singular reconciliations where anxiety and angst are lent a tough and tender grace.”

Michael Morse

“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. Another moment you’re listening to a voiceover spoken by a hardboiled and vaguely hypnagogic private eye. And yet another moment you’re at the Tamarack Lodge in a Catskills of long ago listening to a crazed Borscht Belt comedian. And finally you’re listening to a mystic intoning prophecies from deep in the reaches of a dream. I love poetry that takes me through such a range of voices, guises, poses, intensities, and diapasons, yet also manages to make me feel that I am in the presence of a truly human and truly real and singular personality. 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

“Matthew’s poems wake us up with brutal honesty and humor. If you think poetry has lost touch with everyday life, this book will restore your faith and welcome you back.”

Rob MacDonald

American Chew is unapologetically American. It makes no pretense of being timeless, of playing to the future. In a hundred years, some editor might go blind jamming in footnotes to explain Sears, Saran Wrap, Facebook, Glad bags, Crate & Barrel, Valerie Bertinelli, Mountain Dew, 7 Eleven, Exxon, Play Dough, Fed Ex, Led Zeppelin, McDonald’s, YouTube, Al Green—maybe even Twinkies. Lippman peppers his poetry with today, with the immediacy of now’s language. At times nakedly personal and at times purposefully psychedelic, Lippman cannot be chloroformed and pinned to one acid-free backing with a neat little label underneath.”

Billie Duncan, American Microreviews and Interviews

“What I love most about the poems written by Matthew Lippman—and particularly the ones he has decided as a collection to call American Chew—is how fast they hit the head and how the meaning gathers in the aftershock as well: like in the meaning made after a dream.”

Michael Klein, The Rumpus

“[Matthew Lippman]…uses poems like resistance bands, building intellectual, emotional, sonic, and aesthetic muscle all at the same time.”

Laura McCullough, Mead: The Magazine of Literature & Libations

“…American Chew holds a deep well of truth that catches one by surprise. Moving through the pages, Lippman so often astonishes with his insight on being a man, a woman, an American. If there were a thesis to the collection it might be about understanding desire, that complicated need that is forever changing.”

Kay Cosgrove, Green Mountains Review


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