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William Matthews

William Matthews published eleven books of poetry during his lifetime, including Time & Money (1996), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. William Matthews died of a heart attack on November 12, 1997, the day after his fifty-fifth birthday. At the time of his death he was a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at New York’s City College. Search Party: Collected Poems of William Matthews, co-edited by Sebastian Matthews and Stanley Plumly, will be published by Houghton Mifflin in January 2004.


Slow Work

Autumn 1991 | Poetry

You need something to tend that exacts a stately pace. You could set type, dice vegetables for soup, or knit a tiny sweater no faster than the baby gestates for whom it's meant. Or translate Martial, scrubbing the rust from your Latin. Then you co [...]

Reunion In the Recovery Room

Winter 2004 | Poetry

First there were two of me, no doubt because I could not move and could not speak. Wrapped snug as mummies or cigars, they looked larval, inept and cold, and lay swaddled in anesthesia as I peered down on them—so there were three of us—and on my [...]

A Diner

Winter 2004 | Poetry

Ithaca, NY, 1972 Saturday mornings I'd take my young sons to breakfast while my wife slept late. They liked to spin on the counter stools, so I plunked myself between them and slowed them down, left, right, left, right, until our food came: juice, [...]